St. Louis-area roads a major concern due to extreme low temps

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by KMOV.com staff

KMOV.com

Posted on January 5, 2014 at 11:51 PM

Updated Monday, Jan 6 at 7:46 AM

(KMOV.com) -- The Missouri Department of Transportation and Illinois Department of Transportation had a busy Sunday with several inches of snow being dumped in the St. Louis area.

But it’s only going to get worse as sub-zero temperatures on Monday will render some chemical treatments ineffective.

MoDOT Monday morning had about 225 trucks out with over 500 employees working 12-hour shifts. But the agency says the liquid salt trucks spray out on the roads won’t work as well as it normally with temperatures below 0.

Related: St. Louis-area traffic conditions

Normally, a pound of the liquid salt can melt 45 pounds of ice, but MoDOT says that number drops to just 10 pounds of ice when the temperatures plummet.

MoDOT warns drivers that despite their best efforts to treat the roads, they will still be dicey and drivers should use caution. 

“This is the type of storm that we only see once every couple of decades,” said MoDOT spokesperson Becky Allmeroth. “The biggest challenge we’ve seen is with those winds that we had overnight. We have roadways with five foot wind drifts on them.”

But because of the temperatures, it almost felt like an exercise in futility.

“We’re not going to make a whole lot of progress with these temps today,” Allmeroth said.

Sgt. Al Nothum with the Missouri Highway Patrol reiterated that sentiment.

“I think the plea is the same thing, for people to stay off the roads today. Probably more for a different reason with the cold temperatures,” Nothum said. “If you’re out there for any length of time and you weren’t prepared, there’s going to be real issues. This would be a good time to stay indoors.”

Click the video above as Allmeroth talks to News 4 This Morning about the road conditions.

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