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Road crews prepare for snow

Road crews across Mid-Missouri are preparing for the upcoming spring snowstorm that may lead to whiteout conditions Sunday.

A half-foot of snow is expected to fall on the weekend before spring break, sometime starting late Saturday into Sunday.

According to Jefferson City Public Works spokesperson Britt Smith, most of the preparation was done on Friday.

But their concern Saturday is the strong winds that may accompany heavy snow, leading to drifting snow that could mean double the work for the crews clearing the streets overnight.

“Until we can get that main road cleared it’s a little harder for us to get back into the individual cul-de-sacs and local streets,” said Smith.

Over at Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDot), they, too are keeping a close eye on road conditions.

Jason Sommerer, the senior pavement specialist at MoDot, said a snowstorm in early spring is not uncommon, but with this storm, treating the roads can get tricky.

That’s because he’s expecting rain to fall before snow.

“If there’s a chance to put chemicals down, we’ll do so,” said Sommerer.

On the other hand, Columbia Public Works is not planning to pre-treat the roads.

“Unfortunately, pre-treatment of roads won’t be an option because it will just simply wash off with the rain,” said spokesperson Steve Sapp.

However, crews are expecting fewer people on the road because many students will be out of town. Sunday is also a lighter travel day compared to a workday, according to MoDot.

But, they still warn that people should avoid driving if they can, and possibly park off the streets so snow plows can have access to clear the snow.

To check the latest road conditions, MoDot has real-time traffic camera images with a few seconds delay on their website.

MoDot also has a free 24-hour hotline, 1-888-ASK-MODOT.

Columbia Public Works also has a Facebook page with the latest updates on their snow preparations.

Jefferson City also launched a new interactive travel map, showing which roads are cleared or covered with snow.

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