CHESTERFIELD, Mo. – This will likely be the first plowable snow for area road crews this season. And due to the warmer temperatures, Friday night and Saturday morning’s snow will be wetter.
“This one’s going to be a wetter snow, and it’s going to be more compactable. So a half-inch to an inch before we start making a difference at that,” said Bob Becker, a district maintenance engineer with MoDOT St. Louis. “It’s not like running a squeegee across a window or something.”
MoDOT encourages drivers to stay off the roads when possible. Since the department is short hundreds of workers, that will impact how long it takes to get their routes cleared.
“This is a statewide event. When we have events like this being the number of drivers short we are with some of the inexperienced drivers this is going to be their first storm,” said Tom Blair, a district engineer with MoDOT St. Louis. “They’re going to be doing ride alongs and when you factor in covid and sicknesses, yeah it’s going to take us longer than we would like.”
Betherny Williams, the brand-new director of streets for the City of St. Louis, said her department is prepared. This is her first winter storm in this position.
“We’re just ready,” said Williams. “Our trucks are loaded. We put all of our snowplows on, and they’re in place. We’re just ready for the snow to fall so that we can start our operations.”
Williams said their crews have been prepping all day for this storm and reminded residents to give their plows plenty of room to work.
“We want to make sure that our employees make it home safely just as well as we want the residents of the city and visitors to our city to be able to move around the city as well,” Williams said. “Enjoy this snow day as this is our first anticipated snow day that we’ve been waiting on. So find time to do something enjoyable with your family but give the plows room to do their jobs as well.”
Due to the precipitation beginning as rain before making that transition to snow, there isn’t much pretreating that can be done so MoDOT will only be using salt on the roads.