PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (Dec. 16, 2010 <em><b>UPDATED</b></em> 6:13 a.m.) — Icy road conditions on some but not all roads in the Fort Leonard Wood area have prompted the Waynesville R-VI School District and some other area schools to cancel classes on Thursday. Laquey and Dixon announced school cancellations shortly after Waynesville; Crocker announced cancellation shortly before 6 a.m. Richland and Swedeborg became the county’s last districts to close shortly after 6 a.m.
Road personnel are trying to clear area roadways, but black ice makes road conditions hazardous even if they appear to be safe.
The Plato R-V School District, whose buses travel some of the longest distances in the state of Missouri to pick up students in far-flung areas south of the post, let students out early on Wednesday and administrators decided to cancel classes on Thursday before the day was over on Wednesday. Numerous other districts farther south made the same decision.
Prior to 4 a.m., Waynesville school transportation personnel checking routes warned that some areas including Swedeborg Road were so dangerous due to icy conditions that they were “scaring themselves” while driving, but other roads were passable with no serious problems and some areas were entirely dry without even being wet. Still other areas were described as being a “sheet of ice.” Waynesville school policy calls for announcement of cancellations prior to 5 a.m. and that decision was announced on the district’s website prior to the deadline.
As of 4:55 a.m., a two-hour reporting delays has been authorized at Fort Leonard Wood with a liberal leave policy in effect. Any General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital appointments prior to 9:30 a.m. will be canceled and rescheduled.
Most roads on Fort Leonard Wood are in amber condition, which means “difficult to hazardous road conditions” with drivers needing to slow to 10 mph below the posted speed limit to maintain traction and a safe stopping distance.
Exceptions to those road conditions include Fort Leonard Wood Route 1 south of Forney Airfield and Polla Road out the post’s West (Waggener) Gate; those are in “green” condition, which poses no public safety threat. Missouri, Pulaski Replacement, North Dakota and South Dakota, Constitution, Oklahoma, Iowa, Turner, Alabama, Indiana, Nebraska and Piney Hills are all in green condition as well.
In the primary routes of the cantonment area, Sheppard Street and Artillery Circle are in “red” condition, which means “most intersections present difficult or no stopping conditions” and includes a warning that driving above 10 to 15 mph may cause vehicles to lose traction.
In the training areas, TA 230 is in “red” condition; Fort Leonard Wood Route 8 and Route E are completely closed.
According to the Springfield office of the National Weather Service, areas of freezing fog are expected before 9 a.m. with cloudy sky conditions and a high temperature for the day near 33 degrees but wind chill values as low as 20 degrees due to northwest wind between 8 and 10 mph.
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