JEFFERSON CITY, MO - For the third week in a row, Missouri faces a weekend filled with potentially dangerous winter weather.
Freezing rain, snow, and even flash flooding are in the forecast. The Missouri Department of Transportation urges motorists to take caution, pay close attention to weather forecasts, and consider changing travel plans to Friday instead of Saturday.
"If temperatures don't move above freezing in central and northern Missouri this weekend, there could be a quarter inch of ice along the I-70 corridor," said State Maintenance Engineer Beth Wright. "If that occurs, we advise that motorists not travel until we can make progress clearing those roadways."
Freezing rain is in the forecast for the northern half of the state, but accumulations could vary. Motorists should remember that even a thin glaze of ice can cause travel problems because it's difficult to see and very dangerous to drive on.
"During last week's storm we had a light glaze of ice on roadways, and nine people lost their lives," said Wright. "We ask that you reconsider your travel plans this weekend because we don't want any more families to face the holiday season without all their loved ones."
After Saturday's freezing rain, the northern half of the state may also see snow accumulation on Sunday. And in the southeast portion of the state, flash flooding, thunderstorms, and strong winds may affect travel through Sunday.
"We have a full fleet of trucks and equipment and thousands of maintenance workers ready to fight this storm for the duration," said Wright. "Our crews are ready."
If you must travel, take your mobile phone and winter survival supplies. If you become stranded, stay with your vehicle and call 911. Be aware that emergency responders may have difficulty reaching you. Remember the following winter driving tips:
- Wear your seat belt.
- Slow down, and adjust your speed to the conditions.
- Give snow plows plenty of room.
- Keep your windshield and windows clear to help you see.
- Be alert and remember that road conditions can change very quickly.
- Allow extra travel time to get to your destination.
Stay informed about Missouri road conditions by using MoDOT's Traveler Information Map, available online at www.modot.org/ or through the smartphone app. The map offers current views of road conditions for Missouri interstates and highways. You can zoom in to a particular location, check live weather radar and view images from MoDOT's traffic cameras and message boards.
MoDOT also provides road conditions information through our Customer Service Center. Dial 888-ASK-MODOT (888-275-6636) to speak to one of our customer service representatives. They are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.