Viewers share fear, anger as icy roads create dangerous conditions

1 month 1 week 1 day ago December 16, 2016 Dec 16, 2016 Friday, December 16 2016 Friday, December 16, 2016 9:35:52 PM CST in Weather
By: Annie Hammock, KOMU 8 Interactive Director

COLUMBIA - Angry parents and frustrated drivers told KOMU 8 News about their experiences on icy roads Friday, using words like scary, terrifying and nightmare.

Reports from our viewers include dozens of accidents and commutes lasting several hours because of gridlock and slippery conditions.

A common thread in our Facebook comments is frustration that Columbia Public Schools did not close earlier. Several viewers reported problems with school buses.

Tamara Vlad said her child's bus went sliding down a hill.

"My 6 year old was scared he was going to die and no parents were ever notified that the bus had to pull off due to road conditions. We were waiting at the bus stop well past drop off time when my cousins son borrowed a phone to call and tell her what was going on," Vlad posted.

Victoria Will said, "My kids school bus had to force the bus to wreck into the garden on Fay Street to keep from getting into a more serious accident... kids were stuck on the bus for about an hour waiting for help."

Some parents said their children weren't home from school hours after they should have been.

Columbia Public Schools released a statement around 8:30 p.m. saying it was making progress getting all students picked up.

"As buses arrive, we are sending notifications to families to let them now. Students waiting for bus pick ups are safe, supervised and have been provided snacks."

Sharon Myers wrote on KOMU 8 News' Facebook page, "Really should have closed schools early today. It was a dangerous drive to get the kids and buses are just now getting kids home."

Gridlock was a big problem for many viewers and their families.

Kendra Holm said, "My dad is a otr trucker and he's stuck on 70 about mile marker 190, he said he went about 300 yards in 3.5 hours. Last I heard he was going to pull into a rest stop and give up for the night."

Stephanie Townsend said it took her four hours to get from Highway 5 in Boonville to exit 126, Providence Road, in Columbia. Aubrey Anne Patricia Williams said the drive from Columbia to Jefferson City took her three hours.

Jackie Eshelman said, "It was a nightmare. Took me 4hrs to get home from target to Clark. Rangeline was not moving sat at mosers till it got moving a little. Very scary."

Susie Fortman said she "had a death grip on my steering wheel all the way from Boonville to my county road in Cooper County."

Many viewers complained about MoDOT's response to the icy conditions, saying the agency was too slow to respond.

Kristen Scheidenhelm Jeffries wrote, "It was slick at 8 am. I saw zero salt trucks on SW streets like Scott Blvd. By 11:45, it was dangerous. Still, saw nothing being treated. Is Columbia short staffed or just unprepared?"

Niki Cannon said, "All this fall, como news reported about how sand and salt trucks were prepared and knew their routes. Yet I saw ZERO out. It took my husband and I nearly 2 hours to get to school and back home, a trip that generally took 20 minutes. Main roads were bad, but side roads were waaaay worse."

Some viewers, however, defended MoDOT.

Micah Leipard said of the MoDOT trucks, "It's hard to make it anywhere with traffic everywhere! They knew their routes, but one car accident that blocks that route and they can't run it."

Mia York said, "These trucks rely heavily on weather forecasts. Columbia did not have enough notice of this because the forecasters got it wrong. Salt trucks don't put down salt when they think precipitation is only going to wash it away. It wasn't supposed to freeze until tomorrow based on what they were told. Unfortunately, the freeze came much earlier than anticipated."
 
There were some positive reports out of the storm, with several viewers saying strangers and neighbors alike helped them out.
 
Emily Cooney said, "Today I was stuck and this kind man helped blow torch the ice away so I could get my car up the hill in Cooperstone neighborhood. Another man put sand on the road to help as well. Thankful for caring people like this who went out of their way to help all of us stuck!"
 
Becky Lennae Divine said, "I ended up very stuck on a slight hill that I saw every other car making it up. I'd like to give a shoutout the the nice guy that helped me back down the hill and back to safety. Plus my friends came back to help me. I was so scared. I've driven in stuff before but this was a nightmare!"
 
KOMU 8 News wants to hear about your experiences. Share your stories in the comments below or in our Facebook thread.
 
 
 

 

 

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