Officials: Stay off roads today

ABOVE: The disadvantage to a large driveway is that you have a large area to shovel when the snow falls. This Southwood Hills Subdivision resident got in a workout as he neared the end of the drive.

ABOVE: The disadvantage to a large driveway is that you have a large area to shovel when the snow falls. This Southwood Hills Subdivision resident got in a workout as he neared the end of the drive. Photo by Julie Smith.

Although the snow may have stopped, authorities and transportation officials still advised Central Missouri residents to stay off the roads today, if possible.

“With the wind blowing, drifting will occur in a lot of places,” said Cole County Sheriff’s Department Capt. John Wheeler. “We kept busy Tuesday with slide-offs throughout the county. We even pulled some people over for going too fast for the road conditions. If you have to be out, just give yourself extra time to get to your destination.”

Road crews spent Tuesday night and this morning clearing roads. But they are facing another challenge — keeping an adequate amount of supplies to clear the roads.

Cole County Public Works Director Larry Benz said their road supplies are OK for now, and they probably could handle three or four more storms before they had to look to get more supplies.

“We’ve had several inquires if we had additional supplies we could spare. But we can’t now, especially with maybe two more snows coming pretty soon,” he said.

“With the early morning snow Tuesday, we didn’t treat a lot of streets because we didn’t want to waste supplies, knowing that we had a bigger storm coming, “said Britt Smith, Jefferson City operations division director. “We still had salt down from the weekend storm, and we were able to get the major roads in decent shape. We are running 24-hour operation. Our guys all came in around 6 a.m. and after lunch kept going until around 8 or 9 p.m. Relief drivers came in for the overnight so our main crews could get some rest and hit it again Wednesday.”

Meteorologist Ben Miler with the National Weather Service in St. Louis said the Jefferson City area picked up 4-6 inches with this storm.

“We figured the main pulse of precipitation would occur Tuesday afternoon, and it did,” he said.

Miler said today and Thursday would remain cold with temperatures Thursday morning possibly going below zero.

“There is another snow chance Friday night into Saturday. But when it will start and how much we’ll get are still not determined,” he said.

There may be some hope in the long-range forecast as by this time next week, temperatures are predicted to be around 40.

Related:

Local forecast, radar, advisories (Alternatively here)

MoDOT Traveler Information Map

Jefferson City street conditions

School closings and weather-related announcements for Feb. 5, 2014 (Alternatively here)

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