Winter Storm Team Coverage: Treacherous Travel Conditions in the Ozarks

By Matt Lupoli |, Chris Eidson , Lex Smith |

Published 03/02 2014 09:43PM

Updated 03/02 2014 10:54PM

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Ice and snow made for treacherous travel in the Ozarks Sunday.

A semi-truck wreck slowed traffic on I-44.

Several slide-offs could be found across the area.

Trying to stay ahead of the conditions, 300 MoDOT trucks plowed snow and sleet.

Covering thousands of miles and spreading tons of precious salt.

"It's half salt half abrasives at this point trying to use the material we have you know winter's still not gone and we don't have a whole lot of those materials left, so we're trying to use that as conservatively as possible," MoDOT engineer Michael Middleton said.

He said the crews have dealt with challenging conditions Sunday.

"We've had anywhere from a couple inches of sleet, we've had some freezing rain, we've had a couple inches of snow we've had a wide variation across the 21 counties," he said.

Plows had made some progress by midday.

"There is a lot of roadways that the pavement is showing," he said.

But his concern is the snow and ice that fall overnight making that morning commute incredibly treacherous

"Monday brings its own issues because people are going to be going to work," he said.

A new storm system is expected to move in over night.

"If it's just going to get colder whatever is stuck down's probably going to stay stuck down, those bridges are going to be a concern, those low lying areas are going to be a concern," he said.

He advises everyone to heed the MoDOT warnings.

"If you don't need to be out there this is not something to be out in," he said.

Springfield Schools has cancelled class for Monday.

If you have to go to work in the morning like many of us, MoDOT advises to allow plenty of time to take it slow on the road.

Branson Businesses Close As Sleet, Snow Fall

The Branson strip was mostly shut down Sunday, after pelting sleet and snow covered roads, parking lots and businesses.

While most everyone across the city was keeping warm inside, Nick Jordan was shoveling the sidewalks outside Branson's Hilton Hotel. 

e try to keep all the sidewalks clear," Jordan said. 

It's a job that's been especially tough this season, with prolonged bitter cold gripping the region.

"When you're in the twenties and teens so much, that's no fun. It's nice when it gets up to 40 in the day and then cold at night, but it just hasn't been doing that," Jordan said.

Even his coworker, who is from Alberta, Canada, said this winter has been harsh. 

"I try not to stay out in it as long as I can. Wear a jacket when I get too cold," Jerry Rogers said. 

The latest blast was a big surprise to visitors, like Megan Szczepanik from St. Pete, Florida. 

"I thought we'd go to Silver Dollar Dollar city and catch a few shows, maybe the Haygoods, or Dixie Stampede if we were lucky, but everything is closed today," Szczepanik said. "It's a real bummer and I just worry about the business owners."

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