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      Road crews gear up for wintry weather

      The groundhog may have thought spring is coming early, but mother nature's not having it.

      A winter storm is forecast to impact the Midwest early Thursday morning through the late evening. This includes mid-Missouri. Snow, sleet, and freezing rain, as well as ice accumulations, are all possible with this storm. Winter storm warnings are in effect for much of the region.

      Road crews prepared overnight by pre-treating roads and getting trucks ready to clear snow when it starts and after it stops. The central Missouri MoDOT force has 225 trucks and will use every one of them.

      "We'll make sure that we've got all the snow off the shoulders, and make sure everything is safe and passable. And then once the storm's finally over, we've got a lot of truck washing to do," said MoDOT assistant district maintenance engineer Jason Shafer.

      MoDOT focused on bridges first, dropping 200 pounds of salt per mile along state roads and bridges to help snow and ice melt more quickly.

      In Cole County, public works crews are keeping a close eye on the forecast to be ready as soon as the wintry weather begins. They're ready to work for 24 hours straight if needed.

      "We've got preparations made for tomorrow evening. We'll work our crew most of...Or all day tomorrow and into the evening. We'll bring in a part-time crew that we call in when we need them to stay all night, then we'll come back early in the morning and clean up the rest of it," said Larry Benz, Cole County Public Works Director.

      MoDOT says crews began pre-treating between 10 and 10:30 p.m. Wednesday night.