This year’s array of snowstorms kept governmental entities across Missouri busy plowing roads. It hasn't been cheap to keep streets clear. And the expense is expected to go up as winter storms continue their blitz across the St. Louis area and the Show Me State.
To understand just how much more expensive this winter is than previous years, Missouri Department of Transportation’s Elizabeth Wright provides some perspective. She says it’s cost the state around $40 million to plow snow off state roads so far. But MoDOT spends on average $42 million every year.
Updated 9:25 a.m. on Monday, March 25, with details on snow totals for St. Louis region.
The National Weather Service says Lambert St. Louis Airport had a record 24-hour snow fall total of 12.4 inches. At least 100 flights were canceled at Lambert on Sunday. As of 6:15 a.m. Monday, 18 departing flights have been canceled, along with 12 arriving flights.
Updated 12:35 p.m. on Sunday, March 24, with details on snow removal efforts.
The Missouri Department of Transportation says it’s ready for the winter storm that’s supposed to hit the St. Louis area over Christmas.
MoDOT crews are busy pre-treating the roads, said department spokesman Drew Gates. He says if the weather allows, crews will take a break Christmas morning to spend some time with their families before the bulk of the storm hits.
MoDOT’s downsizing includes laying off 1,200 workers, closing over 130 facilities, and selling off hundreds of pieces of equipment. State Maintenance Engineer Beth Wright says, though, that the number of workers assigned to remove snow and ice will remain the same.
President Obama declared a state of disaster in 59 Missouri counties today as a result of severe winter storms that struck the state between late January and early February. Federal aid has been made available to supplement state and local cleanup efforts.
Federal assistance and funding will be available to state and local governments on a cost-sharing basis in order to help with snow removal, emergency work and repair or replacement of damaged facilities.
Missouri's U.S. Senators have sent a joint letter to President Obama urging the president to grant Governor Jay Nixon's request to declare 64 Missouri counties federal disaster areas after this winter's heavy snowfall.
By state law, Missouri students have to be in class for at least 174 days and 1,044 hours. Most districts build a few extra classroom days into the schedule in order to be able to call school in case of bad weather.