Road crews continue to battle effects of winter storm - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Road crews continue to battle effects of winter storm

A tractor trailer slid off of the side of the road and hit a sign at mile marker 44 on Interstate 55 in the southbound lanes. (Source: Mike Mohundro/KFVS) A tractor trailer slid off of the side of the road and hit a sign at mile marker 44 on Interstate 55 in the southbound lanes. (Source: Mike Mohundro/KFVS)
Two tractor trailers crashed, slid off the road on NB I-55 at the 37.4 mile marker. (Source: Mike Mohundro/KFVS) Two tractor trailers crashed, slid off the road on NB I-55 at the 37.4 mile marker. (Source: Mike Mohundro/KFVS)
Poplar Bluff highway truck off the road (Source: cNews) Poplar Bluff highway truck off the road (Source: cNews)
MoDOT and IDOT map of road conditions as of 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday. MoDOT and IDOT map of road conditions as of 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday.
Cars crashed at the 74.5 mile marker on I-55. (Source: Kadee Brosseau/KFVS) Cars crashed at the 74.5 mile marker on I-55. (Source: Kadee Brosseau/KFVS)
CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Much of the Heartland is blanketed under several inches of snow after a snow storm that began Sunday night, Feb. 15 and lasted through Monday afternoon.

According to the Missouri Department of Transportation, secondary routes will still not be completely clear on Wednesday.

A spokesperson for MoDOT said crews will be working constantly through the night again.

In small towns from Oran to Silva, residents said they feel stranded.

"We can't go anywhere," said one Oran resident. "We can't get the car out so we have to walk to the store."

In Matthews, Mo., some say they felt ready because they expected to be snowed in for a few days.

"You have to have a four wheel drive," said Lee Wescoat. "We are just out playing in the Polaris rangers. Most of my neighbors had a plan to make it to work."

"I hope I stay out of school for a week," nine-year-old Emma said while out riding with dad.

MoDOT crews in the southeast district have been out in full force to clear the roads since the winter storm swept across the state, starting on Sunday night.

"Crews have been working around-the-clock," said MoDOT District Engineer Mark Shelton. "With more snow in the forecast this evening, crews will continue their efforts overnight."

Shelton said while progress has been made, many roads in the southeast district are currently covered or partly covered.

"The heavy accumulation coupled with very cold overnight temperatures slowed progress in many areas," he said. "Areas that received sleet in addition to snow are also presenting challenges."

Crews will continue to plow and treat the interstates and most heavily traveled roads until they are mostly clear. Lower volume roads are being plowed for two-way traffic and treated at critical areas such as hills, curves and intersections.

"I know many southeast Missourians have a commute to work, plans and appointments this week and are interested in our progress," Shelton said. "Crews will continue working to improve conditions, but I do want to emphasize that secondary routes will not be completely clear tomorrow [Feb. 18]."

Click here to look at the Missouri Department of Transportation's Interactive Travel Map.

KYTC crews prepare for next round of snowfall

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet said District 1 crews are turning their attention to another round of snow that is expected overnight on Tuesday.

Marshall County will have a contractor road grader and support vehicles operating on Tuesday night on KY 95, KY 1523 and KY 283 in Marshall County. The crew will be on the road until about 9 p.m.

District 1 said they plan to wrap up snow operations in all other counties by 7 p.m. on Tuesday. Each county will have a skeleton crew remaining on duty during the overnight hours for maintenance and repair of equipment and for emergency response.

All other personnel are being sent home to rest and be prepared for 1 to 3 inches of new snowfall expected overnight.

The District 1 snow and ice team will be monitoring the approaching snow and calling in crews, if required. All crews are expected to be back to full strength by about 5 a.m.

On Monday, Heartland emergency workers told us about tough travel conditions

We talked to dispatch centers who say, thankfully, they haven't been too busy, and maybe that's because people are paying attention to all of the warnings to not get on the road, or maybe it's the holiday.

The dispatchers said they're hoping it stays that way for the rest of the winter storm.

Debbie Madigan at the Scott County dispatch center said the major problem so far was Interstate 55 headed north and the traffic jam with all of the 18-wheelers.

"They've got some trucks piled up between here at Scott City they're trying to sort out, it's going to be awhile," she said.

Plus, slide offs and even pulling stuck cars out of the deep snow.

Sheriff Rick Walter said not too many people were on the roads on Monday, but now the holiday is over.

He reminds people that if you have to go back to work, be careful, take it slow. If not, don't. He said it's best to wait it out inside with a cup of hot chocolate and let road crews handle it.

Some of the wrecks reported on Monday in Missouri

Two tractor trailers crashed and spun off the road on northbound I-55 at the 37.4 mile marker near Marston, Mo. The road was not blocked.

The northbound lanes of Interstate 55 from the 31 to the 34 mile markers near Portageville are back open after several crashes in that area.

At least five vehicles slid off the interstate or were stuck on the interstate just north of Portageville. The Missouri State Highway Patrol, Portageville police, and New Madrid County sheriff's deputies have been on scene with wreckers working to clear the road.

Officers are directing traffic in the northbound lanes. Drivers are asked to detour at Portageville if they are traveling northbound.

Southbound lanes are open.

The interstate itself is glazed over and very slick.

Northbound Interstate 55 from Benton to Scott City is back open. Both were lanes were shut down for a while Monday morning due to weather, according to the Missouri Department of Transportation.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol responded to 178 stranded motorists and 78 crashes since the snow event started.

KY governor declared state of emergency on Monday

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear declared a state of emergency due the weather.

Marshall County Judge Executive Chyrill Miller signed a Declaration of a Local State of Emergency in light of the winter storm. At this time, the Marshall County, Ky. Emergency Response Departments, along with other county agencies, are working to improve road conditions.

If you do not have to travel, please stay home. Otherwise, be sure to visit www.kfvs12.com/roadconditions to check the road conditions in your area.

Overview of the snow totals for the Heartland:

The heaviest snow moved across the Mississippi River and is causing the most accumulations across western Kentucky. As the band moved through southeast Missouri early Monday morning snow reports range between 6 and 11 inches in many areas. 

Across our southern counties more sleet ended up mixing in with the snow cutting back on the totals. These areas still saw a 3 to 5 inch mess of sleet and snow causing very slick travel. 

Across our northern counties, the snow band did not develop as intense as we forecast. In this area most areas averaged between 3 and 6 inches of snow, still a significant travel impact.

The rest of the week looks very cold. Highs Wednesday and Thursday will be in the teens with below zero morning lows likely on Thursday.

Please stay with Heartland News on-air, online and on mobile for the latest.

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