SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – While local agencies said we’ve been fortunate to not have had much winter weather so far, they’re preparing for the potential this week.
City of Springfield Superintendent of Streets, Colten Harris, said the milder winter has helped when it comes to making sure their resources don’t become depleted quickly.
“Particularly right now with all the people that are out due to illnesses or sicknesses or even just being somewhat low staffed, the less we have to mobilize, especially whenever you’re calling people in late at night and those types of things, it makes it a lot easier,” Harris said.
However, he said they have all their snow drivers ready and feel confident they can respond to all routes.
Steve Campbell, MoDOT Southwest District Engineer, said the shortage of drivers is a problem for the area, but they are equipped to take on small storms like the one over New Year’s weekend.
“Across the entire state, we don’t have enough CDL drivers within our maintenance operations crews, so a shorter duration storm is something that we’re better suited to handle at this moment than some of the continuing durations, the two or three-day events,” Campbell said.
Campbell said that crews can be pulled from across the state, but the need for workers is still high.
“We don’t have the number of people we would like to have within our operational groups at MoDOT that we use to fight snow,” Campbell said. “The problem with bringing someone on right now is by the time you get them onboarded, they’re not as beneficial. There is a process they have to go through before they’re ready to help, if you will.”
He said the winter weather does provide a training opportunity for new staff members.
“They’re running spreaders, they’re running sanders, fans, you think about putting a blade down, it’s not something you want to do without winter material, without snow on the ground,” Campbell said.
Campbell said they are preparing the best they can for whatever comes this winter.
“Making sure we understand what’s coming and who’s available and who’s responsible for what,” Campbell said. “There’s been a couple of those kind of coordination type meetings making sure that all of that is lined out, and I think we’re in good shape there.”
If you need to get out during a winter weather event, you can always check road conditions using MoDOT traveler maps.