The Missouri Department of Transportation is urging motorists to avoid travel, if possible, late Thursday night through Sunday, due to significant amounts of freezing rain, sleet and ice, in the forecast.

Travel on Missouri’s roads should be avoided overnight Thursday into Friday, and continue through Sunday. Friday morning rush hour commutes may be impacted by the freezing rain across most of the state.

“MoDOT crews will be out ahead of the storm using a mixture of chemicals and abrasives including salt brine and salt,” said MoDOT State Maintenance Engineer Becky Allmeroth. “Ice is the most difficult storm to fight. With large areas of the state expected to get a half inch or more, it can cause downed power lines and potential roadway closures. Motorists should avoid travel this weekend if at all possible.”

According to Pettis County Emergency Management Agency Director, Dave Clippert, Pettis County is looking at the possibility of some light icing early Friday afternoon, but the majority of any ice, will occur late Friday night. Pettis County is fairly close to the northern edge of the storm system.

An early projection of ice totals, include 7/10ths of inch.

If a section of highway is shut down for extended periods, motorists should heed the warnings on the digital signs and exit the highway at the next available exit. To check road conditions including winter weather conditions and traffic speeds, please check MoDOT’s Traveler Information Map at MoDOT’s customer service center is available for information, 24 hours a day at 1-888-ASK-MODOT (275-6636).

“All week, crews have been gathering chain saws, chippers and other equipment that will be important when we have downed trees from the ice accumulation,” Allmeroth said. “If there are power outages, please treat dark signals as a four-way stop. Stay away from downed lines.”