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      MoDOT is advising motorists not to travel due to approaching winter storm

      The Missouri Department of Transportation advises motorists to avoid travel overnight Saturday, March 23, and through Sunday, March 24, as a major winter storm makes its way through the state.

      The heaviest snow and strong winds are predicted for the central part of the state, which means I-70 and I-44 could become snow-covered very quickly.

      "If your travel plans take you through the path of this storm, be prepared for a potential whiteout effect that could make travel hazardous," said Elizabeth Wright, MoDOT State Maintenance Engineer. "We recommend motorists stay put or find a safe spot to wait out the storm instead of trying to drive."

      Should you attempt to travel, bring your fully-charged mobile phone, blankets, food and water, and other winter survival supplies. If you do become stranded, stay with your vehicle and call 911. Be aware that emergency responders may have difficulty reaching you.

      "MoDOT crews are ready to deal with this storm, but blowing snow and strong winds may make it more difficult," said Wright. "If there are fewer vehicles on the roadways, we have a much better chance of making progress."

      Stay informed about Missouri road conditions by using MoDOT's Traveler Information Map, available online at www.modot.org or through the new smartphone app. The map offers current views of road conditions for Missouri interstates and highways. Conditions for these routes are color-coded to give users the information they need at a glance. You can zoom in to a particular location, check live weather radar and view images from MoDOT's traffic cameras and message boards.

      Check out winter driving tips in MoDOT's new video, available here: http://youtu.be/VeVZbEjn1B4.

      Motorists can also call MoDOT's customer service center for road conditions at 1-888-ASK-MoDOT (888-275-6636). The toll-free phone line is answered 24-hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.