CHESTERFIELD, MO. (KPLR) – Missouri and Illinois road crews worked to clear 12,000 lane miles of roadways Sunday as heavy snow and bitter cold blanketed the St. Louis region. Four snow plows were struck by vehicles traveling too close to the snow removal equipment.
Each state transportation department lost a plow to service, one with a broken axel and the other with a punctured fuel tank.
Many drivers remained at home on Sunday giving the road crews room to plow. But on some of the minor state roads abandoned vehicles proved to be a problem.
Becky Allmeroth of MODOT urged drivers to call their local police or state highway patrol to notify them of the stalled car if they had to abandon it. “It is really hard to find the owner once the car is abandoned,” Allmeroth said.
Both states were watching fatigue levels among their staff members. Crews are working 12 hours on and 12 hours off with the threat of another snow storm by mid week.
Monday morning promised more difficult driving. “This storm came in as rain and the pavement froze so we know we have a layer of ice under this snow,” Allmeroth said. Crews were dropping sand and cinders, but with temperatures falling below zero salt was proving ineffective.
Joe Monroe of IDOT urged drivers to stay home Monday if at all possible. He urged those who do need to travel to carry water, blankets, food and a cell phone in case they become stranded.
Jeff Kemp, operations manager for BSR Services, a firm that plows commercial parking lots, office parks and retail business property said many drivers give their cars too much gas. He advised drivers they don’t need weight in the back of their front wheel drive cars. “ Keep your car in good shape, run with good tires and be sure it is in good mechanical condition,” Kemp said.