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MoDOT and IDOT prepare for icy travel conditions Sunday

TOWN AND COUNTRY, Mo. - The first winter storm of the season could make for a very slick Sunday. Though temperatures are rising above freezing, a forecast of an icy mix changing to freezing rain could make travel treacherous.

MoDOT and IDOT say hundreds of plow and salt trucks are ready and their crews are preparing for the worst case scenario. They say they will have more than 200 plow trucks ready to go Sunday and will deploy them based on the forecast and conditions. Officials say it is the first time this winter that will require 24-hour full staffing through the event.

Meanwhile, AAA says this is a busy time of year as cars struggle to function through these cold temperatures. A spokesperson says its Road Service Dispatch Center indicates two thirds off all calls were for cars that wouldn't start because of dead batteries. Other common problems included frozen locks and tire pressure issues.

"The most common call that we're seeing right now is the no start situation. Either failing or the vehicle is just too cold the battery has to work extra hard in order to turn the engine over,” said Josh Connors.

Make sure you pack a blanket, extra clothes, hand warmers, bottled water, and jumper cables in your car in case you're stranded in the cold.

“This precipitation is forecast to move into the area mainly as freezing rain. Though air temperatures are expected to rise above freezing by Sunday evening, the ground and roads are frozen thanks to two weeks of subfreezing temperatures. This could lead to additional icing on area roadways and cause traffic impacts,” said Jim Sieveking, NWS Science and Operations Officer.

Motorists are encouraged to pay close attention to weather conditions and avoid driving during freezing rain. Even treated roads that have salt will likely be icy as freezing rain hits the surface. For information on road conditions across the state, safe traveling tips, and other winter weather information, please visit www.modot.org.