Snow, freezing drizzle cause problems for metro drivers as dozens wreck on icy roads

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City metro only saw about a half inch of snow from Sunday night into Monday morning, but in addition to the snowfall, freezing drizzle covered the roadways. 

Missouri State Highway Patrol Trooper Sgt. Bill Lowe said a surge in crashes during winter weather isn’t anything they haven’t seen before.

What does concern crews, Lowe said, are the drivers that continue to speed along the roadways atop the harsh road conditions. That combination causes an uptick in wrecks.

“The majority of the ones that have happened have been minor,” Lowe said, “just causing a lot of problems with the people as they drive and as they go by and sometimes blocking the road.”

As of 2 p.m. MSHP said they had responded to 147 stranded motorists and 125 crashes in the Kansas City region.

But it’s not just the metro’s highways that have been trouble.

The Kansas City Police Department said about 106 crashes were reported during rush hour Monday from 5-10 a.m. That’s compared to just 12 wrecks last Monday. And in KCK, police also responded to over 100 crashes from midnight to about 6 p.m.

Lowe said it’s easy to drive safely, but even easier to underestimate the current road conditions.

“We’ve heard all kinds of things like, ‘I was going the speed limit,’ ‘I was doing everything I was supposed to do,’ but if you were doing that, you wouldn’t be in a ditch,” he said.

Melissa Black with Missouri Department of Transportation said all 200 snow plows in the KC region were put to work, but there’s only so much crews can do when they’re up against the freezing temperatures.

“In this type of weather, it’s very difficult to keep roads as clear as we’d like because of the extreme cold and the lack of sunshine that we are having,” Black said. 

She said it’s important for those on the road to not only drive for themselves, but for others, too.

“Just pay extra attention and drive much more carefully,” Black said. “And of course, remember to put on your seat belt and put down your phone.”

If you want to see live cameras and updates of road conditions in the Kansas City metro, visit the KC Scout website.

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