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Melted snow refreezing overnight causes dangers for drivers

The sunny weather may have been a welcome break from the freezing temperatures — but they could cause dangers for drivers overnight.

The sun caused snow around Mid-Missouri to melt, but as the temperatures dip below freezing Thursday night, it will re-freeze. Snow falling Friday morning will cover that ice, causing a dangerous commute to work Friday morning.

Columbia Public Works crews were out Thursday pre-treating the roads in advance, but Steve Sapp with the department said even that pre-treatment will only do so much.

“People really need to be careful tomorrow morning,” Sapp said. “When the snow falls on top of the refrozen melt, it’ll hide it and lull drivers into a false sense of security.”

Sapp said Public Works will have a full crew out at 4 a.m. treating the roads as necessary.

Emergency crews are also warning drivers to use caution tomorrow.

Brad Frazier with the Columbia Fire Department has had to respond to hundreds of car accidents caused by the winter weather.

He said the ice storm was the worst — causing more than 100 accidents in just two hours. And last weekend’s snow storm caused more than 60 crashes just on Sunday.

He’s hoping drivers will use more caution with the combination of ice and snow in the forecast.

“The best advice we can give is to slow down,” Fraizer said. “Even though the roads may have been plowed, there could still be ice underneath causing the roads to be slick.”

Fraizer said anyone in an accident that needs help should call 911. But if you see a car wrapped in yellow crime scene tape, there is no need to call 911. That tape means law enforcement has already checked out the car, ensured no one is inside, and plans to remove it.

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