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Department of Transportation and City Crews Prepare for Winter Storm

The Ozarks is bracing for some winter weather with the Missouri Department of Transportation and city crews preparing for action. KSMU's Benjamin Fry reports.

As the winter storm moves in, up to 150 MoDot vehicles will be monitoring state highways across Springfield and 12 surrounding counties.

MoDot spokesperson Bob Edwards says drivers should avoid the roads, if possible.

But if you have to head out, he says to give yourself plenty of time.

"Monitor the weather, get up early, leave early, take your time on the road. You sure don't want to end up in a ditch or sliding into somebody else," Edwards said.

The National Weather Service is expecting mostly snow and sleet for Springfield and along the I-44 corridor.

But traveling may be trickier to the south, with areas around Branson facing freezing rain.

Branson Public Works Director Larry VanGilder says crews there will first focus on main city roads to hospitals and fire station routes.

"And we stay on those essential roads until the forecast shows that things are going to slow up and then we'll start heading through the other route, the other streets and subdivisions throughout the city," VanGilder said.

In the event of massive power outages, VanGilder says city generators are ready to provide services such as 9-1-1 response.

Branson also has warming centers ready, but they will not be opened until they are needed.

And a reminder for drivers, make sure you have emergency supplies in your car, including extra blankets, shovels, and first aid kits.

Those preparing for a power outage at home should check their smoke and carbon dioxide alarms if using kerosene lighters and propane space heaters.

For KSMU News, I'm Benjamin Fry.