Crews practice driving snow plow routes as temperatures turn cooler, snow appears in forecast

LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo. -- With possible snow in the forecast later this week, crews across Missouri are getting ready for winter Wednesday with a state-wide snow drill.

It's been a while since motorists in the metro area have had to drive in snow, and plow drivers say they haven't had much to clear in the last two or three years.

Wednesday morning, crews from the Missouri Department of Transportation and Lee's Summit city crews are driving their snow routes, making sure they can spread salt or brine solution, depending on the temperature.

MoDOT has sensors in their trucks to monitor both pavement and bridge conditions. And with our temperatures expected to both rise and fall during the next two days, the difference between rain, snow and ice is huge for workers charged with keeping the streets safe.

"If the temperatures are going to be high we can actually get away with shooting brine, that's salt with water," MoDOT maintenance superintendent Stephen Butler said. "We’ll probably pre-treat tomorrow before we get out there to give us a head start. Once the temperature drops and it becomes very slick, that’s when we start applying our salt and stuff, letting it work in. Mainly it’s just watching those bridges, because the ground is still warm right now."

The approaching change in conditions has made the drills more urgent for crews who know they may be plowing or spreading salt in the next day or two.

Lee's Summit does not require drivers to get their vehicles off the streets, but the crews say it makes a big difference in clearing the pavement when citizens help out.

Butler also wants to remind drivers that it's important to stay at least 100 feet behind a snow plow so crews can work safely to help you get where you need to go.

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