As the thaw begins, remembering the ice, snow and cold of this weekend may be a memory many would like to forget. As freezing drizzle began on Friday, roadways quickly became slippery, especially since temperatures did not rise above freezing as originally foretold.
Not long after the drizzle began, accidents began to occur throughout Boonville. Many of them were slide-offs, which kept emergency responders very busy. According to reports from Friday, it did not matter how fast a car was traveling, even at five miles per hour, accidents were happening across the entire area.
Interstate 70 was at a stand as several accidents in Cooper County kept traffic at a snails pace. Some individuals who had to travel back to Boonville from Columbia reported long commutes – some as long as four hours.
The Missouri Department of Transportation quickly warned people not the travel on the roads.
“Motorists should be aware that bridges and overpasses generally freeze first, so they should use caution, reduce speed and brake gently in these areas,” a release from MoDOT stated in regards to the past and future winter storms.
MoDOT advised the public to postpone traffic at all cost.
“When winter weather hits, the most important thing you can do is postpone your travel,” MoDOT Central District Maintenance Engineer Randy Aulbur stated. “However, if you do head out, allow extra time to get to where you’re going, stay alert and lower your speed.”
One of the major worries for many were school buses and students as they got out of school. Boonville School and Pilot Grove Buses took extra time and precaution to make sure all students were delivered safely to their destinations. While all area school children made it home safely, other Central Missouri School Districts had several issues. Reports from other communities included stranded buses on roadsides. The Missouri Highway Patrol assisted these buses.
By evening, much of the traffic had died down, which allowed crews to treat the roads in preparation for the next weather event, the snow. Sub-zero temperatures were not a help either as the dangerous wind chills prompted people to stay inside once again.
Today, temperatures will be quite warm, considering how cold it was just a couple days ago.