Police: Slow down on the roads, dozens of crashes across the Heartland

Drivers deal with slick roads on Wednesday morning commute
Crash on I-55 (Source: Matt Fluegge/KFVS)
Crash on I-55 (Source: Matt Fluegge/KFVS)
(Source: Cape Girardeau Police Department)
(Source: Cape Girardeau Police Department)
Ice forecast
Ice forecast
precipitation timeline
precipitation timeline

(KFVS) - A wintry mix of freezing rain, sleet and snow made for slick travel throughout the Heartland Wednesday morning.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol reports that Troop E in southeast Missouri has responded to 46 calls for service, 31 non-injury crashes, and two injury crashes.

Since 7 p.m. Tuesday, officers have worked 35 traffic-related incidents in Cape. Six of those were injury crashes.

Road conditions

Missouri

The Missouri State Highway Patrol urges drivers to stay home if possible. However, if you have to travel, take it slow.

One lane of the southbound lanes Interstate 55 is closed near the 107 mile marker due to several crashes. One woman had to be rescued from her vehicle in the two-car crash. She was taken to the hospital with injuries.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol is on scene of a 3-car injury crash on I-55. According to the Cape Girardeau Police Department, the accident happened near the 107 mile marker, just north of Fruitland. Emergency crews are working up to eight crashes between the 104 and 108 mile markers.

Cape Girardeau police urged residents to stay home on Tuesday night.

A police car was involved in a crash on Normal Ave. in Cape Girardeau when another car slid into it Tuesday night. Police say all involved were ok and not hurt.

As of 1 a.m. Cape Girardeau Police reported roads were covered and slick.

Around 6 a.m. the Cape Girardeau Police Department reported there were two crashes on I-55 in the northbound lane. One wreck was at the 97 mile marker, another was reported at the 98 mile marker.In Jackson, officers are asking drivers to only be on the roads if they have to.

As of about 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Cape Girardeau police report that since 7 p.m. on Tuesday night, officers worked 35 traffic-related incidents in Cape Girardeau. They say six of those were injury crashes.

They warn drivers to watch for refreezing on Wednesday night.

Kentucky

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet crews got some help from breaks in the cloud cover on Wednesday that allowed enough sunshine to pop through to raise pavement temperatures and help clear roadways across the region.

While most "A" Snow Priority Routes are clear, highway crews have continued to work on icy spots along "B" and "C" Snow Priority Routes. Some crews will continue working into the night to finish their rounds. Most crews expected to complete their work before midnight.

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Crews will be using the day on Thursday to repair and service equipment to be prepared for the next round of winter precipitation Thursday night into Friday. The winter weather event is expected to start with rain, then transition to freezing rain, sleet, and then snow going into the nighttime hours on Thursday. The winter system is likely to create hazardous driving conditions across Kentucky and most of the surrounding states into the weekend.

Motorists are advised to carefully monitor area news media for weather updates as this next wintry mix approaches. The National Weather Service has scheduled a weather briefing for Thursday morning when the forecast should firm up. At this time, the NWS has concluded much of the area will see 2-4" snowfall or more, with the potential for up to a quarter inch of icing underneath.

The salt that was spread last night and today will leave some salt residue on the pavement that will essentially provide pre-treating for this next round of winter precipitation depending on how much rain falls ahead of freezing temperatures.

Motorists who plan to get out on the road Thursday night and through the day on Friday should be fully prepared for the hazards that come with winter driving.

Before leaving home, be sure to check road conditions in your area. Click the state below to see traveler information maps with winter weather info.

Missouri

Tennessee

Kentucky State Police are asking the drivers to be aware and monitor current weather conditions before travel.

Here are a few simple steps to help keep you on the road:

  • Avoid travel unless necessary when winter weather is in your area
  • If you do have to travel, call 511 for current road conditions
  • Slow down
  • Always wear your seatbelt

Driving considerations:

  • Leave early - Allow more travel time and expect delays
  • Increase distance between vehicles - It takes significantly longer to stop on snow covered or icy roadways
  • Clear all windows on your vehicle prior to travel - Having unobstructed vision is vital to avoid running off of the road or having a collision
  • Turn on your vehicle's headlamps. Remove dirt, mud or snow
  • Use caution on bridges and overpasses; they are susceptible to freezing before roadways
  • Avoid using cruise control - Cruise control can cause the vehicle's wheels to continue turning on a slippery surface when speed needs to be decreased. Same goes with diesel vehicles equipped with an engine exhaust brake

Be Prepared:

  • Ensure your vehicle has a full tank of gas in the event you are stranded for an extended period of time
  • Charge your cell phone prior to departure and keep a charger in your vehicle
  • Take a blanket
  • Notify a family member or a friend of your travel plans prior to departure - if your travel is interrupted, someone will know

Collision information:

  • Be patient - Bad weather also limits the capabilities of law enforcement officers and emergency crews and increases response time. Also, keep in mind that they will be experiencing a high volume of requests for service
  • Attempt to move your vehicle out of the road if you are involved in a minor, non-injury traffic crash; especially if you are in a dangerous area such as a curve or a blind hill
  • If your vehicle is stranded or wrecked but not in the road, attempts to recover your vehicle will have to wait until conditions improve for safety considerations

KSP is asking travelers to keep an eye out for potentially stranded drivers. If you see or suspect that someone is stranded, please call 911 or contact KSP at 1-800-222-5555.

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