St. Francois County Road and Bridge Department employees worked a 14-hour shift from daylight to after dark Monday to treat roads and prepare for the cold temperatures that would be hitting the county overnight.
Road and Bridge Highway Administrator Wendell Jarvis said a snow like this is hard to deal with because it’s not enough to plow. All they can do is treat the roads.
“We thought we were going to get snow, but we weren’t sure what we were going to get or how much,” said Jarvis. “The guys are out and have been treating the roads since 7 a.m. because that’s when we felt like we should be out.”
Jarvis said MoDOT did a fine job clearing U.S. 67 and other highways. He added the side roads, because of the way they are textured, are still covered, but they treated them.
“There haven’t been any issues and we haven’t heard of other issues,” said Jarvis. “Normally the truck drivers will call if they see someone in the ditch, but we haven’t had any reported.”
Jarvis said they had the trucks ready to go and stored inside the buildings so there weren’t any issues with them freezing up. With the trucks being ready, it put some of the crews out a little quicker.
“I think the temperatures are going to continue to drop and doesn’t look like it warm up at all as far as the temperature helping us out,” said Jarvis. “It will be really cold overnight and in the morning and I would say some of this is still going to be on the road in the morning, so I recommend that folks be careful.”
Jarvis said they had crews out all day Monday on the 14-hour shift and they had emergency crews on-hand to run anything that may have happened overnight.
“The majority of the guys will go home and get some rest and we will back on the roads first thing in the morning,” said Jarvis on Monday. “I try to watch the temperatures and when we get snow and it gets cold, it’s harder to deal with.”
“There is not enough snow to plow and basically all we can do is put the salt and chat down,” said Jarvis. “It’s one of those snows that is tough to deal with, especially with the cold temperatures. All you can do is try to put some traction down with the salt and chat.”
Missouri State Highway Patrol Spokesperson Corporal Juston Wheetley said their officers responded to several slide-offs and minor crashes Monday.
“I don’t have a definitive number on how many, but I was told they were kept busy all morning with vehicles in the median and slide-offs on secondary roads,” said Wheetley. “I haven’t heard of any serious injury accidents, but there may have been a few with minor injuries.”
Wheetley said he was talking to some of the guys who were out working and they told him the primary roads aren’t bad and are patchy in spots, but the secondary roads are still pretty bad on some of the hills and in the valleys.
“If people are going to get out and about especially the next few days, until the warm weather hits to melt this off, be cautious and anticipate slick spots in the roadways,” Wheetley said. “Allow yourself time to get there and be cautious.”
Renee Bronaugh is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3617 or email@example.com