Missouri roadside assistance crews face backups | Mid-Missouri News

COLUMBIA − It was a freezing start to the work week on Monday. According to KOMU 8's First Alert Weather team, freezing rain began overnight and continued into the early parts of Monday morning, causing slick roads and sidewalks.

Layers of ice could be seen on most surfaces, including cars, roads and sidewalks, which made for hazardous morning and afternoon commutes. 

As drivers braved the cold and slippery streets, roadside assistance crews faced significant backups in services.

Chad Slate, manager of I-70 towing and Recovery, said response times were taking up to three times longer than normal. A typical response time for towing crews to get a stranded driver help is 15 minutes, according to Slate. However, if someone made a call for service on Monday morning, it took approximately 45 minutes.

"Roads are not good. If you don't have to drive on them, simply don't," Slate said. "If you have to drive on them, take plenty of time and go very slow."

The roads with the most calls for service were Interstate 70 and Highway 63, Slate said. A KOMU 8 News camera captured an SUV parked in a ditch between the Broadway and Stadium Boulevard exits on Highway 63 with its driver-side airbag deployed and severe damage to the front bumper.

"Don't panic. You don't want to necessarily slam on the brakes. Take your foot off the gas, try to steer into the direction of the skid," AAA Missouri spokesperson Nick Chabarria said. "A lot of people want to turn the wheel in the opposite direction to try and straighten out, but you're only going to be fighting the ice."

Roadside assistance crews are still dealing with the cold and snow storms the Midwest region faced last week. AAA's calls for service, like for slide-offs in the snow and dead batteries in frigid temperatures have increased up to 80% last week, according to Chabarria.

Both Chabarria and Slate agreed that safety is the number one priority, for crews and drivers hitting the roads during icy conditions. 

The winter weather advisory issued by the National Weather Service is set to expire at 3 p.m. Monday.


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