Our Opinion: Conditions conspire to create challenges

Snow, wind and bitter cold temperatures conspired to create winter challenges in Central Missouri.

Doing your best sometimes is the best you can do, and we commend road crews, motorists and residents for doing their best.

“I felt like I woke up in Wisconsin,” said Britt Smith, Jefferson City’s Operations Division.

Smith said city crews “were out all night and worked until all roads were open.” He added, however, “I surveyed the roads this (Monday) morning, and they don’t look like they typically do.”

Acknowledging the severity of the storm, Smith said: “Salt is completely ineffective; spreading it would have been a waste of money.”

While city, county and state road crews continue working to make roadways passable and safe, what can you do to help the effort?

Cole County Public Works Director Larry Benz encouraged people to move their vehicles off the sides of roadways and into driveways, if possible. “If we get another expected snowfall, the plowed portion of roads just keep getting narrower,” he said.

Jefferson City police on Sunday urged motorists to report abandoned vehicles, which create traffic hazards and also impede road-clearing efforts.

The Jefferson City Fire Department asked residents to remove snow from around fire hydrants. “During a fire, seconds count,” said Jason Turner, interim fire chief. “The extra minute removing snow from around fire hydrants may save your neighbor’s home, or you.”

MoDOT Central District Maintenance Engineer Randy Aulbur asked drivers “to be patient with us while we battle this latest winter storm. I would encourage everyone to be very careful, give our snow plows plenty of room, and check on road conditions if you do have to travel.”

And Smith thanked residents “for staying off the roads and being patient until we can get some melting going.”

A winter storm of this magnitude causes inconvenience and creates challenges.

In this situation, patience and common sense are as necessary as any plow or snow shovel.

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