ST. LOUIS – The Missouri Department of Transportation is advising drivers to stay off the roads this weekend.
The advisory was issued late Thursday afternoon. MoDOT is concerned because, in addition to a forecast that calls for rain changing over to snow on Saturday, there is also the likelihood of bitter cold temperatures.
MoDOT says ice-melting chemicals lose their effectiveness when temperatures dip below 25 degrees. MoDOT is also concerned about the possibility of wind gusts causing drifting snow.
Division Chief Scott Barthelmass, Eureka Fire Protection District, hopes drivers will heed the warning and encourages anyone who must be out this weekend to be prepared.
Barthelmass says some drivers stuck in traffic last Friday did not have medication. Some diabetics were without snacks to help regulate their blood sugar levels.
“A lot of people were caught off guard and that’s the worst thing you know with any situation,” he said.
Barhtlemass encourages drivers to have an emergency kit that includes jumper cables and plenty of blankets. He says some parents were stuck for hours without any books or games to entertain kids. He also reminds parents to pack plenty of diapers and wipes just in case they get stuck in traffic for hours.
Grant Meyer is the assistant manager of Rick’s Ace Hardware in Des Peres. Last Friday, he says customers didn’t start buying winter supplies in large numbers until the snow started falling. This week has been different. Customers were buying winter weather-related items early in the week in anticipation of a rough weekend.