Icy conditions blanket western counties; Columbia faces freezing rain

4 months 2 days 23 hours ago Tuesday, February 20 2018 Feb 20, 2018 Tuesday, February 20, 2018 8:03:00 PM CST February 20, 2018 in News
By: Jessica Porter, KOMU 8 Reporter
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SEDALIA - Icy weather hit Sedalia and other western counties on Tuesday. The conditions are expected to continue through Wednesday morning. Columbia will see freezing rain as well.

"Freezing rain will move through mid-Missouri tonight," said KOMU's chief meteorologist Kenton Gewecke. "Elevated surfaces such as signs, trees, poles, and vehicles will see the ice accumulation first."

He said most slick spots will hold off until the rain ends late Tuesday night and "wet roads try to slowly freeze over with black ice."

"Roads that are treated late tonight should be good to go Wednesday morning, other roads will need to be monitored for black ice," Gewecke said.   

Temperatures were dropping quickly as people were trying to run errands and get home as soon as possible. 

"It's very cold and I'm sick of it," Sedalia resident Carolyn Hehec said as she ran an errand with her three children. "We're just trying to get inside and avoid it." 

Sedalia Police Department Patrol Commander David Woolery said crews have been treating the roads all day, but the rain can wash away the pre-treatments. 

"The treatment is kind of worthless when you have this type of rain. When the ice starts, and it's actually starting to stick, we have better luck with the pretreatment. The city does have crews out 24 hours today now, doing a salt and sand treatments." 

Woolery encouraged Sedalia residents to stay home and avoid the roads if at all possible. If not, he said, be smart about traveling. 

"The best thing you can do is plan ahead. If you have to work, give yourself plenty of time to travel," he said. 

Woolery said crews are working to clear main streets first and then they will work on side and residential streets. The main streets they are focusing on first include Grand, Kentucky, and Ohio. 

MODOT is working to clear main highways. It is also urging caution.

“Many times when we see crashes associated with winter weather, it’s because folks were driving too fast for the conditions at hand,” said MoDOT Central District Maintenance Engineer Jason Shafer. “We can’t stress enough how important it is to slow down and allow extra time if you have to travel. Ice is especially tricky and can cause hazardous conditions, so please use extra caution if you go out tonight.”

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