Interstate traffic comes to crawl as businesses close early

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ST. LOUIS - Traffic on St. Louis interstates slowed to school zone speeds at times during the day as heavy snowfall covered traffic dividing lines and businesses closed early Monday.

The snow was sometimes falling so fast while people were leaving work early, that you couldn’t see the traffic lines. Many cars lit up their hazard lights while barely getting up to 20 miles an hour. Drivers were also sliding off the highway, especially at interchanges like I-70 and I-270 as well as on and off-ramps at major intersections.

Cars had trouble getting started on side roads. A tractor-trailer struggled for five minutes getting up a small hill. Then a car behind was completely stuck until we pushed it free.

Snowplows didn’t have much room between about 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. when the snow was coming down fast and people were leaving work early.

“I went into work and decided to close early because it’s not going to get any better,” Rich Zeisler said.

Dierbergs supermarkets alerted customers that all locations would be closing today because of the weather and poor road conditions. The stores will close at 7 p.m. tonight and will reopen Tuesday.

A Schnucks spokesperson said all metro St. Louis stores would close at 8 p.m. and reopen at either 6 a.m. Tuesday or their regularly scheduled time, whichever is later.

Mayor Krewson has also told all non-essential employees to go home at 1 p.m. They say that the Streets Department has been working 12-hour shifts since Saturday to treat roads and plow streets. They will continue working that schedule for at least the remainder of the day. The city is asking people to stay off the roads.

The St. Louis Zoo is also among the list of locations closing today because of the weather. That closure started at noon. Only staff directly related to critical operations will be expected to stay at the Zoo or asked to report to work. U.S. Bank Wild Lights is canceled tonight, as well.

“I didn’t think it was going to be this bad. I had some work to do and I got that done,” Scott Monette said.

Many more schools, daycares, and businesses have also closed today.

You can see our full list of closings here.

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