SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — “It’s dry, it’s powdery, and it’s blowing all over the place.” This is how a Missouri Department of Transportation Southwest District Engineer describes the snowfall that came with the winter storm that hit Springfield and the Ozarks overnight Wednesday.
Steve Campbell, with MoDOT, says crews in the Southwest district have worked hard, “I think our folks have done a pretty good job so far especially considering all the challenges,” Campbell told us.
Campbell explains blowing winds and fast rate of snowfall Wednesday into Thursday created difficulty for his crews, especially on the interstate. As soon as plow drivers cleared the East-West corridor, the north wind blew snow right back on top.
He says the public has been great, mostly staying off of the roads, especially those who drive cars that don’t get around well in snow.
Campbell does, however, ask for patience. This was his response when asked if he had a message for people who may have expected roads to be more clear this morning: “I would as that they just be patient. We’re going to stay with it until we accomplish the objectives. This is a multi-day storm at this point and so we’re still focused on the continuous operations, the higher priority, higher traffic volume routes so it is true that we haven’t transitioned to a point where we’re hitting those lower-volume corridors in their entirety.”
Campbell went on to explain crews may have been able to hit about 20% of the less-traveled roads on MoDOT’s route, but there have not been concentrated efforts to clear them, saying, “We haven’t had the opportunity. It’s not that we don’t want to, it’s just that the storm hasn’t allowed us the chance to.”
Campbell says the strategy going forward is to continue to plow the roads, concentrating on the high-traffic highways and interstates for now. More snow is expected in the Springfield area tonight, as an evening wave could bring another 1-2 inches in the metro. Campell said once the snow is falling, plow drivers will really begin to focus on the less-traveled roads.
Looking ahead, even though temperatures could sink below zero tomorrow, the sun being out will still help rid roads of ice.