Slippery Roads Hamper Morning Commuters

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MARYLAND HEIGHTS, MO (KTVI) - Area streets and highways looked clear early this morning.  But, our own FOX2 / News 11 crew found out the hard way that there were still some rough patches on the road.

I spent my morning on my hands and knees moving a lot of snow.  Then, the Maryland Heights Police Department showed up, and so did the Missouri Department of Transportation.  Snow angels.

About 3 a.m. Friday, our 9 a.m. show producer Tom Gregory tried to enter Page Avenue Eastbound from the Lackland Road ramp.  He was on his way to work at FOX2 / News 11.  A woman in a second car was on her way to work, as well.  Both drivers got stuck on a pile of snow at the end of the ramp.  I got stuck behind them.  Angie Mock got stuck behind me.  It took police, Mo-DOT, a really nice guy with a shovel and half the station to help us get to work.

The producer for the 5 a.m. show, Harold Geiger, was nice enough to write my first script for me.

Things were much more dangerous at 1 a.m. Friday.  A tractor-trailer jackknifed along northbound I-55 at South Broadway.  The driver tried to come down the icy ramp.  That driver was not hurt, and the ramp opened before the morning rush.

Then, around 2 a.m., a car traveling north on I-270 hit a snow-bank and overturned in a ditch near I-44.  It was not immediately clear if the driver was hurt.  That intersection also reopened by the morning.

The snow and sleet blanketed surface streets just as quickly as the highways.  At a press conference Thursday, government officials asked for patience.

'We just couldn`t keep up the snow came down faster than we could remove it.  It was depressing,' said St. Louis City Streets Director Todd Waelterman.  'The guys would come down the road and come back the other way.  It was all covered up.  It was just the rate of snowfall."

'Arterials, secondary, and hill routes should be passable by the morning hours,' said St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay.  'That`s what we`re working on overnight.  But, the residential streets will be a problem for some time depending on the weather and the temperature in particular.'

By morning, Mo-DOT had to help dozens of drivers get out of a snow bank on the side of Page Avenue near the Maryland Heights Expressway.  That parking lot stretched back to Bennington Place.  Mo-DOT`s Kara Price said ramps, shoulders and bridges would be a problem for drivers Friday morning.  Price said crews focused overnight on plowing driving lanes to make roads passable for the morning rush.  The other areas would have to wait until the plows could move the packed piles of sleet, and that would take longer than plowing soft snow.

More drivers met with our fate after daylight.  Around 8 a.m. a, man tried to exit Page toward Lackland, just up the road from where we were stranded.  That driver got caught on a snow bank, too.

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