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Crews Battle Snow Overnight

The freezing drizzle, snow, and dropping temperatures were a bad mix for road crews Thursday night. MoDOT and the Highway Patrol shut down I-70 for seven hours, finally opening at 8 p.m. Thursday.By 10 p.m., cars were moving quickly and plows were finally making headway on highways. The area looked far different from the stand still during the day when several semis were stuck in the road, causing a sea of cars to be backed up for miles.As of late Thursday night, many city streets across Columbia were still covered in snow, which could turn to ice as the temperatures continue to drop. That was the new issue for road crews who had been out all day.MoDOT had 225 trucks on the roads, plus several contractors. Columbia Public Works had 26 trucks, all planning to work overnight Thursday and long into the day Friday. The biggest issue they faced all day and night was the many abandoned vehicles.During the day Thursday cars, buses, and trucks were stuck in the snow, many people leaving their vehicles and walking home. Police said they are trying to tow the cars, but in the meantime crews are forced to work around.”It slows us down because we are trying to get through traffic as well so any time we have to stop, plowing stops treating stops. So, again that gridlock and rapid rate of snow fall today just allowed things to really get ahead of us,” said Steve Sapp with Columbia Public Works.The question on most people’s minds is how did the roads get this bad? Road crews said the answer is that too much snow came down too fast. Even with all the preparations, snow plows just couldn’t keep up with the rapid snow storm.When it comes to Friday morning, driving conditions will still be very bad. Emergency officials said if you can work from home that would be the best option. If you must drive officials said slow down, give yourself plenty of time, have an emergency kit in your car, and most importantly keep your cell phone charged so you are able to get help if needed.Road crews hope to get to residential areas sometime during the day Friday.If your car was towed, Columbia authorities suggest calling the city-approved companies first. Those are: Carl’s Towing – (573) 474-4812, Doug Perry Towing – (573) 442-4616, Slate Towing – (573) 886-3368, Tiger Towing – (573 )449-3754, Economy Towing – (573) 474-6630, I-70 Towing – (573) 449-3336 and A.J.’s Towing – (573) 814-1842.

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