Road crews preparing for Tuesday & Wednesday’s wintry weather in the Ozarks

Ready as can be before snow comes into play
Published: Jan. 23, 2023 at 10:16 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - In addition to the First Alert Weather Team watching our next round of wintry weather for Tuesday & Wednesday, the crews at MoDOT and the city of Springfield have been doing just the same.

The agencies, however, have also been dealing with a shortage of road crew employees before the winter season began. Darin Hamelink, a district maintenance engineer at MoDOT, says that resources have been shifted to parts of the state that need it most, and crews are ready to get to work. Given how this system will start as rain and quickly switch over to snow, Hamelink says the plan of attack is pretty straightforward.

“The plan is to plow this off and, initially, not use chemical unless we have to,” Hamelink said. “Now, if we start to get slick spots, then we’ll treat as needed because the plow will take it off. If it’s wet and the ground stays warm, the ideal storm is where you just plow it off and don’t use any chemical at all.”

While the winter storm won’t be a long-duration event, and with MoDOT and the City of Springfield having the equipment, supplies, and manpower ready to go, Hamelink does point out one challenging prospect of this system by late Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning.

“The ground temperatures will be a little low, and it does take us a while to make several passes to keep up with the amount of snowfall that’s coming down,” says Hamelink. “If we’re receiving 2 to 3 inches of snow per hour, if it’s coming down heavy, and we’re only making one pass per hour, it can be a challenge to keep up.”

From a more local perspective, Colten Harris, Superintendent of Streets with the City of Springfield, has also stated that the city has the manpower and equipment to properly respond to the storm once the snow starts coming down by Tuesday evening. He also has some simple reminders for motorists as the storm comes into the Ozarks.

”Unless you have to be on the road, try to stay off of them,” Harris says. “There can definitely be dangerous conditions whenever there’s snow falling. If you happen to see a plow, you’ll want to make sure you stay back at least 100 feet. If you can avoid passing it, they’re usually treating the roads, and so, they have to treat multiple lanes when they do that.”

As crews across Missouri and Arkansas start to respond to the coming snow, motorists can keep up with the latest road conditions from MoDOT and ArDOT with the site’s traveler maps. Those links and other First Alert Weather Resources can be found right here.

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