Road crews on both sides of the Mississippi River are gearing up for a snowstorm expected to hit the St. Louis area on Thursday.
Officials with the Missouri Department of Transportation said when the storm starts, it’s going to come in fast and furious, meaning roads can go from clear to ice-covered in about 30 minutes to an hour.
MoDOT officials say the best-case scenario would be all snow, while worst case would be freezing rain. Officials said they’re preparing for the worse.
Roadways, bridges and overpasses have been pre-treated all around the St. Louis area with either salt brine and calcium chloride or beet juice depending on the area.
Some road crews have been sent home to get some rest. They’re expecting to have some long shifts starting Thursday, 12 hours on and 12 hours off.
Officials say drivers should get their business down early in the morning.
“If you need to get out tomorrow, please make it before about 9 or 10 a.m,” said MoDOT official Becky Allmeroth. “Go run your last-minute errands, get in and we’re encouraging everybody to stay in after that. It’s not going to be one of these storms that gently enters the area and starts with flurries. Once it hits it’s going to be intense and it’s going to hit pretty severe.”
IDOT employee Joseph Monroe said his agency was worried about the storm’s aftermath.
“We actually think the event will go through noon on Friday from clean-up and monitoring for any refreeze,” Monroe said. “Even though pavement temperatures we expect will come up Thursday night into Friday, it won’t be enough to get us out of the woods.”
MoDOT and IDOT are both asking drivers to give their plows plenty of space. IDOT says four times in the last four snow storms, there’s been an accident where a driver has run into a snow plow.