With Winter Storm Looming, Crews Say They Are Ready

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COLUMBIA - Missouri was one of three states in the entire continental United States without snow on the ground Thursday.

A new round of winter weather is expected Friday and into the weekend, and MoDOT crews and First Student bus representatives say they're prepared.

First Student corporate communications manager Stephanie Creech said the bus company performs regularly scheduled maintenance checks to ensure the buses are in top running condition.

"In cases of severe cold, additional checks are performed and additional precautions taken," Creech said. "Our start-up crews arrive on location early, sometimes as early as 4:30 a.m. First Student crews, in accordance with our cold weather procedures, purge the air brake tanks, put brake line deicer in the air brake systems, and perform additional fluid checks to ensure the buses are ready for safe operation."

MoDOT central district maintenance engineer Randy Aulbur said many of the resources have already been used early in the winter season.

"You're seeing those resources go out the door and you're trying to replenish those," Aulbur said. "It becomes kind of a tug of war when there are a lot of needs out there in the country."

However, Aulbur said less snow in January has given crews time to prepare for the final months of the winter season.

"What we've had in January has given us a break to give us the time we need to catch back up and be in a lot better positions as far as the rest of the winter."