Ice storm brings slick conditions to the Tri-States - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Ice storm brings slick conditions to the Tri-States

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Slick conditions in Hannibal. Slick conditions in Hannibal.
Roads crews in downtown Quincy. Roads crews in downtown Quincy.
Ice-covered sidewalk in Lewis County. Ice-covered sidewalk in Lewis County.

A winter storm caused slick conditions throughout the Tri-States overnight into Saturday.

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens thanked the state's residents for heeding warnings to stay off roads during an ice storm but warned that the danger will last in parts of the state through Sunday.

In a news conference late Friday afternoon, leaders of several state departments said efforts to react to ice that started in the state early Friday had been helped by fewer drivers on the roads.

The Missouri Highway Patrol reports it responded to about 100 crashes Friday, with only one fatality related to the storm. Power outages were small and scattered across the state.

With more ice expected to hit over night and into the morning, both crews and drivers are preparing for the worst.

One driver said that he actually couldn't make it to work this morning because of the Ice. Director of Central Services in Quincy Kevin McClean said night crews are on stand-by with day crews set to come in Sunday morning. Both city crews and drivers are prepared for the worst.

"We have trucks ready in case we have something that actually re-freezes before we actually get called in when the rain does start or the freezing rain does start," McClean said.

"I'll probably just stay inside. Hope everyone is safe. No wrecks or anything," driver Zac Cadwell said. "I think me and my friends were all going to hang out but unfortunately some of us couldn't make it."

McClean said he expects to get an update around midnight, Sunday to get a better idea of if they will need to call in crews overnight.

National Weather Service meteorologist Steven Runnels says up to a half-inch of ice stretched from Joplin into St. Louis with "minimal impact." But he said freezing rain will increase late Friday and early Saturday in west-central Missouri, and hit Kansas City and northern Missouri Saturday night.

Freezing rain hit places like Springfield and the St. Louis Metropolitan area. A slick roadway was suspected in a fatal wreck in Missouri, where long stretches of Interstate 44 and Interstate 55 were ice-covered. 

KY3 TV in Springfield, Missouri, reported Friday afternoon that thousands were without power in the area.

Ice Storm Warnings were issued for the southern part of the Tri-States. Check here for the latest warnings and watches.

Ice is expected to be an issue through Sunday. This storm will bring between one quarter inch to a half inch of accumulation.

The Missouri Department of Transportation issued a Winter Weather Travel Advisory. With the St. Louis area expected to get up three-quarters of an inch of ice, Governor Eric Greitens also declared a State of Emergency.

"MoDOT has already begun pretreating roads across the state," Greitens said Thursday. "This will continue through the duration of this storm."

Illinois State Police also issued a travel advisory asking drivers to be cautious.

"The ISP is urging motorists to drive with caution, increase following distances, and allow extra travel time to get to their final destinations," ISP stated in a news release.

The American Red Cross offer some tips for travelers:

  • Make sure everyone has their seat belts on and give your full attention to the road. Avoid distractions such as cell phones.
  • Slow down. Don’t follow other vehicles too closely. Sudden stops are difficult on icy roadways.
  • Don’t use cruise control when driving in winter weather.
  • Don’t pass snow plows.
  • Know that ramps, bridges and overpasses freeze before roadways.

Storms like this can cause serious issues with power lines bringing a high risk of outages. Ameren Illinois said preparations were underway Thursday and storm trailers were in place.

The Red Cross also offered the following tips in the event of a power outage:

  • FOOD SAFETY - Have one or more coolers on hand and ice. Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. An unopened refrigerator will keep foods cold for about four hours. First use food from the refrigerator, then from the freezer.
  • ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT - Turn off and unplug all unnecessary electrical equipment, including electronics. Turn off or disconnect any appliances, equipment or electronics you were using when the power went out. When power comes back on, surges or spikes can damage equipment. Leave one light turned on so you’ll know when the power comes back on.
  • SAFE HEATING - Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially enclosed area. Locate the unit away from doors, windows and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors.
  • CARBON MONOXIDE - Install carbon monoxide alarms in central locations on every level of your home and outside sleeping areas to provide early warning of accumulating carbon monoxide. If the carbon monoxide alarm sounds, move quickly to a fresh air location outdoors or by an open window or door. Call for help from the fresh air location and remain there until emergency personnel arrive to assist you. Read more about using generators safely.

Stay with WGEM News throughout the storm for the latest information. In case of a power outage, remember you can still hear our newscasts on FM 105.1 radio.

Also be sure to download the latest WGEM StormTrak Weather app.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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