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MoDOT, Highway Patrol give safety tips ahead of winter storm


The Missouri Department of Transportation and the Missouri State Highway Patrol held a press conference Wednesday ahead of the projected extreme weather on driver safety during snow.

One main highlight during the meeting was being prepared for the chance of being stranded.

"Make sure you have plenty of gas in your vehicle," MSHP Capt. John Hotz said. "Also make sure you have additional clothing, some blankets, water and some snacks."

According to Hotz, this could make a big difference if you find yourself stuck in the road or if your car ends up in a ditch.

Hotz said if you find yourself in a ditch, do not get out of your car. Instead, remain in your vehicle with your seatbelt on and call 911. Hotz said there have been instances where people have been killed getting out of their cars and being hit by another car swerving into the ditch.

According to a spokesman with MoDOT, the chemicals it uses to treat the ground loses effectiveness in extreme heat.

With dry snow and heavy winds, snow can be blown all over the clean roads.

"It's entirely possible we could plow a road and the wind is such that it'll blow snow in right behind the snow plow and it'll look like we haven't been there even though we have been," MoDOT engineer Jason Shafer said.

MoDOT will be prioritizing heavily traveled roadways first. These include Interstate 70 and Interstate 44. Other heavily traveled roads include U.S. 54, U.S. 63 and U.S. 50.

According to a MoDOT spokesman, when sharing the roadways with snow plows, it is especially important to give them space to operate. Although you can see them, there isn't a guarantee they can see you.

If you wind up traveling during the storm, visit MoDOT's traveler information map to get updates on road conditions.

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Ethan Heinz


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