Missouri State Highway Patrol limits crashes during snowy rush hour

ST. LOUIS, Mo. — The Missouri State Highway Patrol credited the Missouri Department of Transportation with limiting crashes during a snowy St. Louis area rush hour.

MSHP Corporal Juston Wheetley said the department answered 97 calls for service before 7 a.m. Thursday. That included 60 crashes and 32 stranded motorists. He said only two people were injured, and those injuries were minor. That number had not changed by midday. Wheetley acknowledged it was hard for MoDOT crews to keep the roads clear as the snow fell for several straight hours. But, he said plow drivers were doing a good job in clearing that snow.

Wheetley agreed with Mike Right of AAA Missouri in also crediting the drivers. Right said AAA did not have a significant spike in calls for help because many drivers chose to stay home or change their plans. Many schools being closed helped to limit traffic, and potential trouble.

"It's not a cakewalk," Right said. "But, it's also not near the disaster one might expect."

Wheetley recommended drivers continue to drive more slowly and be especially vigilant as the temps dropped later Thursday. He warned that bridges and overpasses could hold puddles of water that could freeze into serious hazards for drivers.

Drivers on the J.J. Kelley Memorial overpass and on Interstate 270 found a slushy commute, while road crews worked to keep up as the snow came down during rush hour. The MoDOT Traveler Information Map showed I-270 was “completely covered” as rush hour got started. The interstate was “partially covered” with snow south of the overpass.

FOX2 / News 11 Meteorologists expected the snow to continue through the morning and ending in the afternoon. Only patience and planning for an early arrival at work was going to get commuters through a snowy Thursday.