MoDOT Warns Of Slick Roadways As Melting Snow Refreezes | St. Louis Public Radio

MoDOT Warns Of Slick Roadways As Melting Snow Refreezes

Jan 13, 2019

St. Louis residents are digging out from a major snowstorm that buried the region with nearly a foot of snow over the weekend.

Though crews have cleared most major roads and interstates, the Missouri Department of Transportation is warning drivers that melting snow and ice will refreeze as temperatures drop tonight.

Missouri Department of Transportation St. Louis District Maintenance Engineer Bob Becker said refreeze is “a big concern.”

“We will have full crews in all night, keeping an eye on that,” Becker said at a press conference Saturday evening.

The snowstorm began Friday afternoon, blanketing roadways and leaving drivers stranded on major interstates for hours at a time. As of 10:40 p.m. Saturday, the National Weather Service reported 10.9 inches of snow had fallen in St. Louis and 15.9 inches in Columbia.

A truck navigates a snowy roadway in Ballwin Friday evening.
Credit David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

Several of the major interstates, including I-44, were particularly challenging for crews to clear. Gridlock traffic blocked snow plows from reaching stretches of the interstate, Becker said, creating up to eight miles of backup at times.

"I'm sorry they got stuck and we wish it wouldn't have happened," he said. "St. Louis unfortunately was the bullseye of this storm."

According to MoDOT, snow plows accompanied by highway patrol vehicles drove backward down the interstate to reach affected areas.

The storm also prompted many airlines to cancel flights at St. Louis Lambert International Airport. As of 4 p.m. Saturday, the airport reported the cancellation of at least 55 arrivals and 62 departures due to inclement weather.

Most regular service resumed Sunday but was interrupted by a small fire in the roof of Terminal 1. Everyone was evacuated and flights were delayed until the terminal reopened about 9:30 a.m.

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