MoDOT braces for White Christmas in Creve Coeur
Christmas Eve snowfall predicted during heavy holiday travel period.
It's going to be a white Christmas in Creve Coeur.
Missouri Department of Transportation crews are preparing Thursday for a two- to four-inch snowfall on Christmas Eve as predicted by the National Weather Service. Some pockets might receive a bit more snow.
Forecasts call for the snow to start Friday morning and last through the evening.
With increased numbers on the roads during the holidays, MoDOT officials were strongly urging motorists to travel Thursday or early Friday morning.
For up to date travel information, motorists can log on to www.modot.org to view an online Traveler Information Map, or call 1-888-ASK-MODOT (888-275-6636) for the agency's customer service center for road conditions. The hotline is staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
MoDOT targets the most heavily-traveled roads first, starting with interstates such as I-70 and I-270. Next will be regionally significant routes and numbered highways such as Lindbergh, Olive and Manchester roads, and then lettered highways, which have the least amount of traffic.
Local municipalities and counties are responsible for clearing non-state roads and side streets. Creve Coeur Public Works officials were unavailable for comment Thursday, but have previously outlined a similar tiered philosophy when it comes to plowing major city roads first, then moving onto roads which connect subdivisions, and finally tackling sidestreets and the subdivisions themselves.
About 450 MoDOT workers will be on alert and 220 trucks will be available to plow roads. Owen Hasson, St. Louis area maintenance supervisor for the Missouri Department of Transportation, said the holiday weekend would not affect snow removal from state roads.
"There's some disappointed staff out there, but there's no change to our schedule. We'll have every truck with a plow on front out there clearing roads," Hasson said. "If it snows one inch or four inches, we'll be out there most of the weekend."
Crews monitor roads for snowdrifts and re-freezing when they're not clearing roads, he said. They also will pre-treat interstates and bridges with a liquid brine solution.
Hasson said the snow shouldn't present the same problems that travelers faced last Wednesday during an ice storm.
"Every road is a problem when it comes to ice," he said.
"We can't pre-treat for ice," Hasson continued. "When it rains, the rain washes away all our hard work. So we can't pre-treat a road until we know for sure what what's coming – snow or ice."
They know the snow's coming Christmas Eve, and MoDOT crews are ready for it, Hasson said. His family is another matter.
"I'd rather have a non-white Christmas," Hasson said. "So would my family."