Jan. 24—After a busy weekend working accidents and assisting motorists, public safety crews in Northwest Missouri are preparing for another round of snow late Tuesday into Wednesday morning.
With a winter weather advisory going into effect at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the area, News-Press NOW Storm Trackers are calling for between a dusting and 2 inches of snowfall by Wednesday morning.
Saturday's snowfall, which measured up to 5 inches in some areas around St. Joseph according to the Storm Tracker team, created issues for drivers across the state. The Missouri State Highway Patrol received 224 calls for service on Saturday and Sunday.
About 100 of those calls were from stranded vehicles, with drivers sliding off the highway into the median causing no property damage or injuries. Sgt. Shane Hux of Troop H said troopers made sure they were available to help drivers as the winter weather creates extra issues out on the roadways.
"We plan in advance, we keep an eye on the forecast and any time that the National Weather Service is predicting a significant snow event, we do bring on extra troopers to have them available," Hux said. "Even if it's their day off, they will still be available for call-out during those times."
According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, winter storms and wet road conditions play into more than 2,000 road deaths every year.
"Even careful and experienced drivers can run into trouble on the roadways during winter storms," said AAA Spokesperson Nick Chabarria. "It's important to be aware of road conditions before you go and make sure your vehicle is winter weather ready."
With additional elements in the area creating more difficult travel experiences, Hux said drivers should allow more time to get to and from destinations.
"If we get a snow event, then you're not going to be able to travel the speed limit, you're going to have to go slower," Hux said. "Check the weather forecast before you go to bed at night. If there is a snowy event, you may have to get up a little early, clean your vehicle off and make sure that's completely cleared because visibility is very important."
Other hazards Hux said drivers need to be aware of are accidents and lane closures that could pose issues or extend a driver's time on the road.
Hux recommends drivers keep at least half a tank of gas in their cars, have their phones fully charged and keep warm clothes or blankets on hand in case of an emergency.
Stef Manchen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.