Road crews ready for the winter mix on the way to St. Louis | St. Louis headlines

ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) – Street teams around St. Louis spent Friday refilling salt trucks and keeping a close eye on the forecast as a winter storm system hit the Midwest.

American Snow and Ice, a company that serves private properties, said the transition from rain to a wintry mix on Saturday afternoon was worrying.

“If we see the temperature drop 30 to 40 degrees over the course of two hours, we could potentially be shock freezing,” said Chris Richard of American Snow and Ice. “The problem with that is that a lot of people don’t understand how dangerous it can be.”

Under these conditions, he said, the road surface looks damp or wet. However, it is often accompanied by a thin layer of ice that makes it very smooth.

With the forecast predicting rain for most of the day, Richard said his crews will use road salt to treat slippery surfaces. As temperatures drop, liquid brine becomes more effective.

“When the intensity of the rain subsides and we’re talking about fog, we may be able to put a layer of salt or liquid on the bottom before it starts to freeze,” he said.

MoDOT said it has no plans to pre-treat roads, although it will have crews on the clock from Saturday afternoon. IDOT said it will make an effort to pre-treat its roads before winter mix.

“We will actually use this rain to do a pre-treatment, to make our own brine and to adapt our schedule over time,” said Joseph Monroe of IDOT.

The city of St. Louis will also have crews on the streets, hoping Saturday’s wind speeds will help remove moisture from surfaces before the temperature drops.

“We should have winds of 20-25 mph, that should really help dry everything out there,” said Kent Flake of the city’s Roads Department.

The latest updates on the weather forecast for Saturday are available in the KMOV News App and KMOV.com.


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