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Gusty winds make things unpleasant, dangerous for tractor trailer drivers

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MARYLAND HEIGHTS, Mo. - Gusting winds are making things unpleasant and potentially dangerous in the St. Louis region.

The wind advisory is expected to expire by 6 p.m. for Missouri and Illinois.

Wind gust has made for some waves on Creve Coeur Lake Tuesday afternoon along with some rain and blowing snow.

Currently, the weather is not causing any delays or cancellations at St. Louis Lambert International Airport.

The biggest concern has been the roadways. Mid-America Logistics has about 300 trucks on the road every day, 50 to 60 in Missouri today.

Things have been windiest south and southwest of St. Louis.

Workers are tracking the winds and advising drivers accordingly: with gusts peaking at 38 miles-per-hour in St. Louis, closer to 45 mph in Rolla, and from 30 to 35 miles per hour from Chester to Springfield, Illinois.

It's certainly windy enough for truck drivers to pull off the highways; a key factor is whether their trailers are loaded or empty.

“If they're loaded fully with 75,000 to 80,000 pounds of gross weight, typically it doesn't affect them that much. But if the trailer's empty, they're rolling around 40,000 pounds, they're going to get pushed all over the roads. If a 35 mph wind gust hits them at the right time, there's a chance they could topple over. We have a couple of drivers in the area. Most of them were loaded and they were able to push through,” said Kyle Walker, Mid-America Logistics.

Walker said the newer trucks also have sway control features. When a truck starts to swerve in the wind, a loud beep or vibrating seat alerts the driver. The brakes may even automatically begin to slow the truck down. While Walker said this is a struggle today, drivers see a lot worse in Wyoming, where police close highways with gusts twice what we're seeing -- between 60 and 90 miles-per-hour.

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