KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Missouri Department of Transportation, Kansas Department of Transportation and Kansas City, Missouri, Public Works snowplow crews are gearing up and hitting the roads, getting drivers ready for more snow and icy conditions.
“Some of the trucks needed to be washed off, check the hydraulics, check the chains, check fuel gauges, all of that just to make sure they are in operational capacity,” said Markl Johnson, MoDOT spokesperson.
Frigid cold can affect which road clearing techniques crews use.
“We’ve had crews out today pretreating with salt and salt brine, using calcium chloride and ice ban. Those are two products when it gets really cold, it helps activate our salt, so we are laying that down this afternoon as well as through the night tonight,” said Maggie Green, KCMO media relations manager.
However, with winter weather impacting the Kansas City area, officials want everyone to be safe, not just for themselves but for other drivers — including those operating snowplows.
“The snowplows are going to be going much slower than the posted speed limit, and many of the folks around you are going to be slower, so try to avoid passing if possible,” said Delaney Tholen, KDOT public affairs manager. “The snowplow that was hit this last weekend is now out of commission. So we are one snowplow down in the Kansas City area.”
Officials also want to remind drivers before hitting the road to make sure they have supplies in their cars in case of emergency.
“Gassing up your vehicle tonight, having an emergency kit in your vehicle, that includes jumper cables, washer fluids, batteries, flashlights, snacks, because you never know what could happen," Johnson said. "You never know if you are going to be stranded for 5 minutes or 5 hours."
With flurries falling from the sky, it’s imperative that drivers operate their vehicles with care and caution to keep the roads clear and safe for others.
“Be prepared, and if you can stay at home, please do so, so that you are not on the roadway," Tholen said. "If you can delay your travel, even if it’s for a couple of hours, so the snowplows have a little time to catch up, that’s good. If you do need to drive, please make sure that you clean the snow off of your car, not just your windshield, but make sure you clear off your brake signals and turn signals to make sure you are as safe on the road as possible.”