unexpected freezing rain event ices the morning peak

Posted: 2014/12/01 in accident, Weather
Tags: , ,

Around midnight, freezing rain and drizzle started moving into the region and the NWS quickly went up with some Winter Weather Advisories, and a #CodeYellow advisory went up for the conditions.  All day Sunday the talk was that the freezing rain was going to stay well to the south and the NWS had reflected that.  However, this system decided to keep the rain much closer to the I-44 corridor than expected AND had to come at a bad time.  Although roads were not pretreated, full crews were out by 02:00 to battle the weather conditions.

By 04:00, it was clear that the icy weather was going to stick around for the morning peak and the corridor went into #CodeRed advisory for HIGH RISK odds for an incident occurring.  In addition, the NWS extended the time of the Winter Weather Advisory for the region. This section of 270 does not fare well with freezing rain events based on past history.  There were numerous incidents throughout the St. Louis area in the morning peak, and there were at least 2 incidents caught by the live feed cameras:

Car spun out at 05:30

Car spun out at 05:30

This incident did not block any lanes when it happened, but the ramps and bridges were very nasty.  Rush hour traffic was flowing much slower than normal with a solid jam starting at 203 heading up the canal bridge.

Around 08:00, eastbound traffic gets iced by a overturned truck that triggered a delayed CodeRed Alert before it was cleared. Fortunately, it happened in a spot where traffic could sneak off the exit ramp and back on the entrance ramp so traffic was not forced through Alton.

Crews did not close both mainline lanes until the morning peak had ended.

Both lanes remained blocked for at least 2 hours:

Even after that cleared the roads remained rather icy until the afternoon. The evening peak went much smoother than the morning peak.

More unfavorable weather is predicted for Wednesday night/Thursday morning. Stay tuned.

  1. […] 10:00 Monday.  This section of 270 has never fared well with such events and just last month a freezing rain event triggered a #CodeRED ALERT for a part of the […]

  2. […] as evidenced back earlier this season when a light event sneaked into the region and caused an epic fail near Riverview.  Please drive safely and slow it down out […]

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