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Mid-Missouri crews ready for winter weather

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

Local road crews and law enforcement agencies are preparing for the possibility of a slick commute Thursday morning and urging drivers to use caution.

Jefferson City Public Works and Missouri Department of Transportation officials said Wednesday evening that there remains enough treatment on the roads from snow early this week to last through this storm.

Boone County Road and Bridge director Greg Edington said his department will have crews ready Wednesday night.

"Folks need to watch the forecast and consider delaying travel plans," Missouri State Highway Patrol Sgt. Scott White said.

Snow is expected to fall overnight Wednesday into Thursday. Accumulation is more likely Thursday morning as road temperatures cool back below freezing.

Slippery conditions are expected to ease up toward Thursday afternoon as temperatures rise above freezing with liquid rain expected to move back in. Precipitation is expected to slow down early Thursday before more rain and snow start falling Thursday afternoon.

Rain will start to fall Thursday as another winter storm system moves through, changing over to snow Thursday night.

The ABC 17 Stormtrack Weather Team has issued a Weather Alert Day for Thursday and Friday as slick road conditions and accumulating snowfall appear likely.

After Columbia Public Works spokesman Barry Dalton said they originally would have no overnight crew, around 6 p.m. Dalton released a statement saying, "due to a shift in precipitation to snow, we are activating an 8-person crew overnight."

Dalton said crews will focus on priority routes.

"Pavement temperatures will be at, above or near freezing depending on many factors including accumulation," Dalton said. "Treatments are currently working, but spotty slick conditions are likely to occur."

More information about Columbia's road conditions is available at como.gov/comosnow/.

According to the City of Columbia's website, when a winter weather event occurs, it is the city’s goal is that all streets in Columbia be passable by a front-wheel-drive vehicle as soon as possible.

Approximately 520 lane miles of priority routes are plowed and treated 24 hours per day as needed during a winter weather event. Other streets are plowed and treated to a passable condition during business hours.

When snow accumulates to 4 inches, all city streets are plowed and treated to a passable condition

Public Works focuses on bridges, curves, hills, intersections and priority routes first, moving on to other streets when priority routes are "near normal," according to the city's website.

Authorities say even small amounts of snow can cause major crashes. A relatively small amount of snow Monday contributed to a 20-car pileup on Interstate 70 at the Missouri River bridge.

"We were fortunate there weren't fatalities," White said. "We had two injuries out of 20 vehicles. It goes to show how important it is to scan ahead and reduce speeds during bad weather."

The superintendent of Jefferson City school district tweeted that he will be up early tomorrow to make a decision about having classes.

Stay with ABC 17 News for more information on this developing story.

Boone / Cole / Columbia / Jefferson City / Top Stories / Transportation / Winter Weather

Zach Boetto

Zach Boetto started working with ABC 17 News in June after graduating from California State University-Channel Islands with a degree in organizational communication. He reports weekday evenings and weekend mornings.

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