KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Those who make a career on the roads are treating Friday’s nasty weather very seriously. Some truck drivers say they are delaying Friday trips that would take them between Kansas City and Des Moines or Omaha.
The real concern is for people traveling north of Kansas City. The National Weather Service warns that people should avoid driving north of Highway 36. That roadway passes through St. Joseph.
The NWS is telling people not to drive in this region between midnight and 6 p.m. Friday because of expected white-out conditions.
Truck driver John Nave’s schedule has him away from home six days at a time on irregular routes. The industry term for him is “wild driver.” A misnomer for this cautious trucker.
“I’ve been driving now for almost 12 years. And when they say white out conditions that usually means [you can see] less than 50 foot in front of your truck,” Nave said.
“And whenever it gets like that, pull it over. I mean, you got to think about this. I have a wife and four kids at home. The van in front of you is another wife and four kids in their family. Do you want that for their family if you can’t stop this truck?”
Drivers of trucks and cars alike learned that lesson during our areas most recent white-out situation. On February 15, 2019, at least 40 vehicles crashed on I-70. Dozens of people went to the hospital. One person was pronounced dead at the scene.
Some truck drivers with routes through St. Joseph plan to just wait out the snowy conditions after checking their forecasts in Faucett.
“I’m headed from Joplin, Missouri and then I’m headed back up to Bellevue, Nebraska,” said Eric Shimer, another truck driver.
“It’s just best to rest, you know? They put a sleeper on these trucks for a reason. It ain’t just to look at,” Shimer said.
The National Weather Service is also warning of similar conditions on I-35 between Highway 36 and Des Moines.