Pettis County Emergency Management Agency Issues Information Ahead of This Weekend’s Ice Storm
"This is probably going to be the most ice that we've seen in a number of years," said Dave Clippert, director of the Pettis County Emergency Management Agency. An Ice Storm Warning has been issued for much of the state of Missouri through Sunday. "It is ranging anywhere from a half-inch up to an inch."
According to Clippert, travel can become treacherous with only a small amount of ice on roadways. "Even a very light freezing drizzle that puts a glaze on the roads will cause a lot of accidents. A lot of people off in ditches and running into each other. Luckily, as far as ambulances and fire trucks go, they have a chain system that they can turn on. As the tires hit the ground, that chain is on the tires, so that does help them get around, but they still have to greatly reduce their speed, so response times can take a little longer."
Clippert says that road crews will be working ahead of the storm to treat roadways, and emergency snow routes have also been activated.
The chance of power outages is greatly enhanced during an ice storm. Because of the large region this storm is expected to impact, restoration of power may be delayed. "The power companies will get out, and they will get out quickly," said Clippert. "The problem is that this whole thing is widespread across the state of Missouri. Restoring electricity is a tricky business to begin with, and then when you add in the elements, it can become a dangerous job. These linemen get out there, they work and they work hard, and they're doing everything they possibly can for a long number of hours to get power back up."
Travel, unless absolutely necessary, is discouraged. "I would suggest that you stay home, unless there is no other choice. I will tell you that unless you have chains or studded tires, you're probably not going to go very far," said Clippert. "If you absolutely don't have to be out, don't be out. That helps the city crews get out and get things done, that helps law enforcement and fire and EMS because they don't have traffic in their way, and it slows down their calls if there's not a bunch of accidents all over the place."
It is recommended that residents have enough food and water on hand to sustain themselves, their families, and pets through the duration of the storm. "Just don't be in a panic. Make sure you have some food, you've got blankets, some games or books to read to kind of occupy you a little bit until this passes, then on Monday we'll be all right. I personally am hoping that by Sunday afternoon we're fine and the game is on," said Clippert.