POPLAR BLUFF, MO (KFVS) - High winds and blowing snow across much of southeast Missouri means drivers will likely experience difficult travel conditions for the Monday commute, according to the Missouri Department of Transportation. With extreme cold temperatures predicted, it is likely travel could continue to be difficult on Tuesday.
IDOT has 1,755 trucks assigned to snow duty across the state, and nearly 3,700 full- and part-time employees available to help ensure roads are clear and passable. IDOT will continue to monitor the latest storm system as it moves into Illinois.
The no tow policy has been lifted for Williamson and Franklin counties. Jefferson and Washington are still under No tow until Tuesday (Jan. 6) morning.
Kentucky Transportation Cabinet crews and contract trucks have been out salting highways since mid-afternoon Sunday in an effort to improve driving conditions. However, with extreme cold temperatures the impact of those efforts will be limited.
With rain dampened road surfaces crews are concerned about dropping temperatures causing moisture to flash freeze on highway surfaces causing driving conditions to deteriorate quickly. Black ice is possible.
Long term, as temperatures remain below about 18 degrees Fahrenheit the impact of salt and other ice-fighting chemicals will be greatly diminished. The ability of highway crews to improve driving conditions will be severely limited until about Wednesday.
Car trouble such as a flat tire that would normally be an inconvenience can quickly create a life-threatening situation when temperatures and wind-chill numbers go into the single digits and below.
KYTC has the following roadway temperature information to report as of 10 a.m. Monday:
Ballard County: Air temperature 4.5, pavement temperature 24.4
Crittenden County: Air temperature 0, pavement temperature 20.2
Livingston County: Air temperature 8.6, pavement temperature 21.1
Fulton County: Air temperature 8.5, pavement temperature 23
Hopkins County: Air temperature -2, pavement temperature, 17
Christian County: Air temperature 4.7, pavement temperature 24.3
Missouri State Highway Patrol Corporal Clark D. Parrott, Troop E Public Information Officer, reports the following road conditions as of around Noon on Monday around southeast Missouri:
US 67 AND US 60 in Butler County is partially covered
US 160 in Ripley County is mostly clear
US 67 in Wayne County is covered
US 67 in Madison County is covered
Primary roads in Iron County are covered
Primary roads in Bollinger County are mostly covered
Interstate 55 driving lane clear, passing lane partly covered in Cape Girardeau County
Interstate 55 And Interstate 57 driving lane clear, passing lane partly covered in Scott County
US 60 in Stoddard County partially covered
Interstate 57 driving lane clear, passing lane partly covered in Mississippi County
Interstate 55 driving lane clear, passing lane partly covered in New Madrid County
Interstate 55 and Interstate 155 mostly clear in Pemiscot County
Dunklin County roads clear
Troop E officers are were working any new incidents related to weather as of around noon Monday.
All secondary roadways mostly covered with the exception of Dunklin, Pemiscot and southern New Madrid counties which are normal.
Cpl. Parrott reported state troopers were working slide-offs on Interstate 55 Sunday afternoon in Cape Girardeau County. No injuries were reported.
Cpl. Parrot reports Monday morning that Sunday night was a quiet one with only a few slide-offs.
According to Scott County Sheriff's Office, there have been several non-injury vehicle slide-offs and wrecks on I-55 and other roads. Several incidents were reported between the Sikeston exit and Benton exits. Deputies say that road conditions are very slick and people need to use extreme caution if they have to be out on the roads.
The Missouri Department of Transportation plowed snow covered roadways throughout Sunday. However, with high winds and drifting snow, it is challenging to keep roadways clear. Additionally, cold temperatures will prevent melting, making clearing roadways difficult for travel on Tuesday.
The snowfall, coupled with wind gusts, can create drifts that will seriously challenge even four-wheel drive vehicles.
The Missouri Highway Patrol offers the following driving tips if you have to travel outside in the extreme winter cold:
• Gather an ice scraper, tire chains, battery booster cables, flares-reflectors, blankets, gloves, flashlight, and a bag of sand or kitty litter to place in your trunk.
• Make sure your cell phone is fully charged and functional.
• Take bottled water and a snack with you.
Make sure your vehicle is in good condition with proper fluid levels and at least a half tank of fuel.
• Keeping your fuel tank at half full or higher prevents gas lines from freezing and will allow you to run the engine and keep warm while waiting for assistance should you become stranded.
• Allow extra driving time for you to reach your destination at a slow, safe speed.
If your vehicle slides off the road, stay with it. Other vehicles could put you in danger of being hit if you are outside your vehicle.
• Temperatures are frigid and walking for help could put you at risk of frostbite. Frostbite occurs when the skin and body tissues are exposed to cold temperatures for a prolonged period of time. Frostbite may affect any part of the body, although the hands, feet, nose, and ears are most vulnerable. Wet clothing, high winds, and poor circulation can contribute to frostbite.
• If you have to be outside, wear layers of clothing, mittens rather than gloves, wind-proof/water-resistant clothing, hat, scarf, etc. Limit how long you stay outside.
"It is dangerously cold outside," said MSHP Colonel Ron Replogle. "I would encourage you to stay home if at all possible. If you must drive, plan ahead and be a courteous driver. Please slow down, pay attention, and wear your seat belt."
If you become stranded or see another vehicle stranded on the side of the road with passengers, call the Missouri State Highway Patrol emergency number at 1-800-525-5555 or dial *55 on a cellular phone.
These numbers ring at the nearest troop headquarters.
Missouri's Road Condition Report (1-888-275-6636)
Online: Road Conditions