Nixon declares state of emergency; MoDOT rushes to clear roads

Tuesday, January 27, 2009 | 8:12 a.m. CST; updated 9:23 p.m. CST, Tuesday, January 27, 2009

COLUMBIA — Gov. Jay Nixon signed the executive order Monday in anticipation of Tuesday's winter storms.

The state of emergency declaration activates the Missouri State Emergency Operation Plan, according to a news release. The plan opens the State Emergency Operations Center and gives local governments assistance from state agencies for their protective efforts.

For help during Tuesday's weather, residents are urged to dial 211.

Eric Schroeter, assistant district engineer with the Missouri Department of Transportation, said crews will work as long as it takes to get the roads back to normal. Because conditions are expected to change throughout the day, he said there is no estimate as to how long that will take.

Changing conditions also force the department to think critically about what methods to use to clear the roads. Schroeter said using salt before it snows could cause major problems should the snow melt and freeze over as temperatures drop.

Columbia residents can call MoDOT's hotline at 888-275-6636 for road conditions or check the map on it Web site.

For a look at the weather forecast, click here.


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