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Thick snow and blind conditions put some plows in the ditch

Updated: 2013-02-26T15:57:57Z

At least eight snow plows had tumbled in highway ditches this morning, with two having fallen on their sides.

The good news is that the conditions are obviously bad enough that the highways are mostly empty as drivers are staying inside.

More than 200 plows were still working highways on the Missouri side for the Missouri Department of Transportation in the Kansas City area, trying to keep up with the heavy, wet snow.

At least two of the plows off the road had strayed off course while trying to clear highway ramps, said MODOT spokesman Steve Porter.

“Sometimes on those ramps, you can’t see the edge,” Porter said. “It’s hard to see when you make that first pass in the heaviest snow.”

In other situations, the weight of the snow can push the outside plow in a team of plows off the edge of the highway, he said.

Plows were hard at work on the Kansas side of the State Line as well, so far without any being reported in the ditch, Kansas Department of Transportation spokeswoman Kimberly Qualls said.

It has helped road crews that the heavy snow was falling well before the start of morning rush hour, Porter said.

Last week, many motorists had taken to the roads before a torrential fall of snow began in the middle of the morning rush, resulting in a mess of clogged roads.

While roads this morning are treacherous, there were few blockages.

“If it takes a long time to get snow off your car, and you can’t get out of the driveway, you know it will be difficult out on the highway,” Porter said. “People are taking the admonition to stay home.”

| Joe Robertson, jrobertson@kcstar.com

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