MoDOT: Finding salt a challenge ahead of winter storms

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by Associated Press

KMOV.com

Posted on February 28, 2014 at 2:12 PM

Updated Friday, Feb 28 at 6:29 PM

ST. LOUIS -- March may be upon us, but the same old winter weather is ready to hammer Missouri yet again.

The latest of several winter storms is expected to bring at least 6 inches of snow to a wide band of the state—from Kansas City through Hannibal—over the weekend. Virtually the entire Show-Me State on Friday was under a winter weather watch from the National Weather Service.

Lesser snowfall amounts were expected in St. Louis and other areas to the south, but driving in those parts could be even worse, as freezing rain is a possibility.

Missouri’s misery isn’t unique. AccuWeather forecasters say heavy snow will start Friday in Kansas and move eastward over a 1,500-mile stretch through Monday. A few areas of the Northeast could see a foot or more.

AccuWeather meteorologist Alex Sosnowski expects major delays for travelers in many areas, some that could be long-lasting.

The onslaught of winter storms has taken a toll on roads. Becky Allmeroth, St. Louis maintenance engineer for the Missouri Department of Transportation’s St. Louis district, said finding enough salt has been a challenge, though the department currently has enough on hand for the approaching storm.

Meanwhile, all the salt and chemicals placed on roads this winter, combined with the frequent bitter cold, are causing deterioration of the pavement in many places.

“Everything we’ve seen with the freeze-thaw cycle and the extreme low temperatures, it has really done a number on the roads,” Allmeroth said. “The pothole season this year is going to be worse than we’ve seen in a long time.”

High temperatures could reach into the 40s in part of the state Saturday, but Sunday’s highs will be mainly in the low 20s.

 

That’s cold, even in winter’s dying days. The normal high for March 1 is around 50 degrees.

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