ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- The latest information on this weekend's winter storm that is expected to bring several inches of snow to the Metro area.
Crews with the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) say they are concerned about refreezing on roads. The IDOT traveler map shows most of the problem areas are north of the St. Louis metro area.
Crews are focusing on areas north of I-70 in Madison, Jersey, Green and Calhoun Counties.
A News 4 crew in the Storm Mode Silverado travelling on I-270 has noticed MoDOT trucks out trying to plow remaining snow off the roads and put down salt to limit refreezing. MoDOT is warning drivers to be careful and watch for slick spots.
The Missouri Highway Patrol Troop C in St. Charles County responded to 1081 calls for service between 10 a.m. Friday and 5 p.m. Saturday. 474 calls were for stranded motorists, 231 crashes and only seven reported injuries.
Missouri State Highway Patrol reports its troops responded to 1790 stranded motorists, 878 crashes, 57 injuries and 4 fatalities as of 2 p.m. Saturday.
The snow did not stop people from taking in the Bike and Outdoor Expo at Union Station, one of the few events in the St. Louis area not to be canceled due to the weather. It will be open to the public again on Sunday from 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
MetroLink is operating with no delays while MetroBus is facing 10-15 minute delays or more on some routes.
The #99 Downtown Trolley route is discontinued for the rest of the evening.
The following routes are operating:
#34 Earth City
#01 State St.-Main St. (IL)
#17 Carlyle-17th St. (IL)
The 141 ramp onto I-64 eastbound is closed due to police emergency.
Accident on I-44 westbound past Berry Road is causing delays. Left lane is closed.
MoDOT said during a press conference Saturday afternoon the snow will transform into sleet with freezing drizzle rain. The sleet will transition back into snow again Sunday morning adding about an inch or two of snow. This should wind down by Sunday evening.
The main concern is the Saturday night refreeze of the roads. MoDOT suggests people avoid travel if possible.
MoDOT will have crews on the roads Saturday evening to treat roads and clear up ramps and shoulders but the agency cautioned that precipitation could wash away some of the treatment.
MoDOT said 200 plus trucks were on the roads Friday night to help drivers struggling in the snow. There were about six snowplow accidents Friday night with no injuries.
Road conditions should be improved by Monday and the morning commute should go smoothly.
Dierbergs stores will close at 8 p.m. tonight.
North I-270 into Madison, Jersey, Green and Calhoun counties are the most dangerous spots right now in the Metro East.
Downtown Urgent Care remains open 24/7 at 916 Olive Street even during the heavy winter storm. You can reach them at 314-436-9300.
MoDOT gives an update on I-44, saying all vehicles were removed from the eastbound lanes and both lanes were reopened. Many other routes remain closed.
Many truckers who were stuck got some sleep in their cabs while the highway was closed as federal law requires them to sleep between shifts.
Jeanann Tornetto, the assistant manager of a Panera in Eureka, kept the store open even though corporate asked her to close early Friday night. She said drivers stuck on the highway were grateful as many came into eat or use the restroom.
MoDOT still recommended commuters to avoid I-44 near Eureka, if possible.
It also expressed concerns for the freezing of wet roads Saturday night into summer morning.
MoDOT plans to update motorists on road conditions and operations in a 4 p.m. conference.
Meanwhile, snowfall measurements reached well over 10 inches in some of the St. Louis metropolitan areas.
St. Louis residents spend their weekend snow day in their yards building snowmen and sledding and snowboarding on Art Hill in Forest Park.
I am having one of my “St. Louis moments”. Art Hill is filled with people of all races, colors, creeds and nationalities. Everybody just laughing and having a great time. Some guy in a funky unicorn costume. So proud to live here. The STL really is one cool city. #KMOV pic.twitter.com/RcAfGF1Bu1— Ray Preston (@PrestonKMOV) January 12, 2019
CBL Malls says all four of their area locations -- Mid Rivers Mall, St. Clair Square, South County Center and West County Center -- will open at noon Saturday.
CBL Malls said department stores and restaurant hours may vary. They advise shoppers to call before heading out and check the malls' website for more information.
In addition, Schlafly has announced it's Cabin Fever event, which was scheduled for Jan. 12, has been postponed until Jan. 19 due to the "overwhelming amount of snow."
Schlafly said those who cannot make the rescheduled date should contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org and they will be issued a gift card for the amount of the ticket price.
News 4's Mark Griffin said drivers are experiencing delays on westbound I-44 past 141 because of a stalled semi.
In a tweet, he reported traffic was better than Friday night but there was still a backup in the area.
I-44 westbound past 141 still crawling at 9am. Here’s why: pic.twitter.com/Sidngtbj5s— Mark Griffin (@mgriffin_kmov) January 12, 2019
The Phelps County Emergency Management Facebook page has announced that the eastbound lanes of Interstate 44 are closed at mile marker 257 until further notice.
The emergency management officials said eastbound Interstate 44 is blocked near St. Louis and eastbound travelers coming in fro Oklahoma should seek a southern route at Exit 82.
They advise drivers to expect six to eight hour delays near St. Louis.
During a press conference Saturday morning, MoDOT official Bob Becker said crews made a lot of progress overnight.
In addition, the MoDOT official said they were ahead of the winter storm and did everything they were supposed to do but the snow came down intensely and roads got slick fast, making it impossible for them to keep up.
Becker said they started pre-treating two days beforehand and did a lot of work to ensure their people were ready to go. He said “no matter what you throw at it, that road will get slick at some point.”
Becker said MoDOT officials have been on conference calls statewide and the Governor’s office is aware of what has been going on.
While speaking with the local news stations, Becker said he wouldn’t do anything different with how MoDOT prepared for the winter weather.
Looking ahead to Saturday, Becker advised people to try and stay home to give crews more time to clear the roads. He said if you have to venture out to be careful and give crews plenty of room.
Around the same time as MoDOT's press conference, the Illinois State Police Department took to Facebook to urge people to "STAY HOME today!" They are advising people to watch cartoons, enjoy a movie with your family, build a snowman, eat soup and catch up on laundry instead of hitting the roads.
The police department is deeming the day as #StayHomeSaturday and said to give emergency workers room to clear the roads: "The less traffic on the road, the better."
The Missouri State Highway Patrol said one lane of westbound Interstate 44 in the Antire Road area has reopened to traffic.
Although traffic is slowly starting to move in the area, troopers are still asking drivers to avoid the area while they continue to get the remaining traffic through. They also advise that MoDOT is working to get more lanes cleared.
In Illinois, state police said a crash has blocked the left lane of westbound I-70 at mile post 30. They said the right lane is still open to traffic.
After a night of snow and drivers stuck in traffic, News 4's Marielle Mohs took to the roadways early Saturday morning and encountered a backup once again on Interstate 44 at Lindbergh.
MoDOT officials told News 4 many people are stalled on westbound I-44 because semi-trucks have stalled out or broken down in the snow. The truck drivers are waiting on tow trucks. They also said that some truck drivers are going to their cabins to sleep while they wait for help because it is federal law for them to get sleep before driving once again.
MoDOT said wreckers are out trying to tow the broken down tractor trailers and get things moving once again. They also said highway patrol troppers, tow truck drivers and MoDOT workers have been going up to semi-trucks and trying to wake up drivers.
According to MoDOT, their biggest concern during the early morning hours Saturday is eastbound from Gray Summit to Eureka. They said that area is experiencing the same problem there are just more trucks in the area.
In addition, Reporter Alyssa Toomey traveled about 18 miles from KMOV's downtown station and counted nearly 50 stranded vehicles.
We've already seen a range of 4" to 8" across the St. Louis metro with some lower totals south.
More snow accumulation comes through Saturday morning. Lighter snow, but still some accumulation is possible on Saturday afternoon and evening, especially west and northwest of St. Louis where the precipitation will be mostly snow. However, from St. Louis south/southeast we will see a mix, depending on your location it could be sleet, snow and/or rain. Also expect some melting as temperatures warm to 33.
One lane of EB I-44 at Lewis Road near Antire briefly opened around 10:30 Friday. It was then shut down again when another truck jack-knifed. Eastbound lanes have been closed for six hours.
I-64 westbound is closed at the Forest Park exit.
MoDOT says they are going to be doing wellness checks on motorists stranded on closed highways. They said they are most focused on checking on those people trapped in Interstate 44 in St. Louis County and Interstate 64 in Chesterfield, where vehicles have been sitting since around 5:00.
In the wellness checks, a MoDOT spokesperson said they'll make sure cars have fuel and occupants have water and food.
It is not known when those interstates will reopen.
The Missouri Highway Patrol Troop C, which responds to calls in the St. Louis area, recorded 595 calls for service, 183 crashes, and 269 stranded motorists as of 8:00 p.m. Friday.
Mizzou Athletics says the men's basketball game scheduled for Saturday at South Carolina has been tentatively rescheduled for Sunday at noon. The university says a final determination will be made Saturday afternoon.
Dierberg stores around the St. Louis area closed at 9:00 p.m. Friday. It is still unknown when the stores will reopen in the morning.
Here's a list of current complete interstate closures. View our live traffic map here.
Westbound Interstate 64 is closed at Lindbergh. It is also closed near 141, where MoDOT says they have had trouble all day due to the hill.
Interstate 70 is closed in both directions in North City.
Interstate 44 is closed, in the eastbound direction, from Eureka to 141.
Northbound Interstate 44 in downtown St. Louis is closed at the Eads Bridge. The southbound side is closed at the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge.
Interstate 44 is also closed in Franklin County.
The southbound exit of I-170 to eastbound I-64 is closed.
MoDOT said their crews are having a hard time getting to the accidents because of the traffic.
All metro area Schnucks are closing at 8:00 p.m. and will not re-open until Saturday 6:00 a.m.
Northbound 141 is still closed near Dutch Mill.
The exit to Kingshighway Blvd. from I-64 eastbound is closed.
I-64 westbound is closed right before Woods Mill Road as well as near Clayton Road.
I-64 at 141 eastbound is closed. It is advised to use alternative routes.
I-44 eastbound is closed before Antire Road in Eureka.
I-70 eastbound is closed at Jennings Station.
All lanes of eastbound I-44 are closed near Washington Avenue in downtown St. Louis
MoDOT says northbound I-55 at Potomac and eastbound I-70 Goodfellow are both closed due to accidents. I-44 in downtown is also closed.
St. Louis Lambert Airport announced 53 arriving flights and 39 departing flights were cancelled as of 6:00 p.m.
How bad is the traffic in the Fenton area? While News 4 crews were en route to an overturned plow truck, we met a local resident who decided to walk home, after two hours of sitting in traffic. Watch his story here.
The University of Missouri announced the scheduled men's basketball game against South Carolina was postponed due to travel issues. The game, originally scheduled for noon Saturday, will be rescheduled.
Three accidents have Interstate 44 closed in three different locations.
Eastbound I-44 is closed in Valley Park, near 141, and just east of Eureka.
Westbound I-44 is closed near Pacific.
An accident involving a Metro bus has closed the exit ramp from westbound I-64 onto northbound 141.
Lambert officials report 53 arrival flights cancelled and 39 departure flights cancelled
Highway 21 at Wells Road in South County has seen multiple accident, and looks more like a parking lot, according to this video sent in by a KMOV viewer
Lambert officials confirm at least 70 flight cancellations. Several carriers are cancelling all flights between Friday afternoon and Saturday morning.
Interstate 64/Highway 40 is closed at Maryville Centre in West County due to crashes and snow-covered roads.
Interstate 44 is closed in multiple places in far west St. Louis County as cars have trouble navigated the roads.
News 4 crews saw many accidents near Eureka.
Drivers on Highway 40 in West St. Louis County are having trouble navigating a hill in the eastbound lanes of the interstate between Timberlake Manor and Highway 141. KMOV crews near the area say some cars are stuck and cannot make it up a snow-packed hill, resulting in a serious traffic jam.
Drivers on Clarkson Road in Ellisville are having similar problems. The road goes over a large hill, and reports are coming in of cars attempting to drive over it spinning out and unable to make any progress on the road, leading to traffic backups and accidents.
A St. Louis County Highway truck overturned in Fenton. It took down a power pole right on Hawkins Rd. Driver was not injured.
Accidents are being reported across the St. Louis area as snow is beginning to cover area roads and interstates.
As of 2:00pm, Interstate 55 northbound was closed at Highway M in Jefferson County and a separate crash had lanes of Interstate 44 closed near Six Flags.
The 4Warn StormTeam has increased their projection for total snowfall amount in the St. Louis area.
Expect a prolonged period of snow through Saturday night. We are currently forecasting a large swath of 8" to 12", that includes much of the metro. We'll still see significant amounts of snow south, but sleet and rain will mix in and help to lower snowfall totals there.
Airlines at St. Louis Lambert International Airport (STL) have cancelled 39 arrivals and 30 departures for Friday, January 11, 2019 in advance of Winter Storm Gia.
STL is expecting the winter weather to begin around 1:00 pm and continue through Saturday. The airport will remain fully operational and have crews on staff at all times to maintain airfield conditions and safety.
MoDOT is advising motorists not to head out on the roads unless it is necessary.
In a news release, the company said drivers should limit travel if possible because as much as 10 inches of snow could fall in the St. Louis area and in parts of central and northeast Missouri.
The Illinois State Police Department has issued a winter weather travel advisory.
The department said motorists should plan ahead and take necessary safety precautions. If conditions become too hazardous, drivers are urged to exit the road and get to a safe location.
If a driver crashes during extreme weather conditions, the police department encourages motorists to exchange insurance and driver information. The department said motorists can file crash reports within 10 days to the Illinois State Police Department.
MoDOT is advising anyone who can leave work or school early on Friday to do so, saying they have "high confidence" today's snow will impact the evening commute.
During a press conference Friday morning, MoDOT officials advised drivers to get off the roads early so crews could work to clear the roads. They said there will be over 200 trucks working on the roads.
According to MoDOT, crews will be focused on the main routes first so it could take longer to get to minor roadways.
MoDOT said the main thing drivers need to remember is to slow down and give themselves plenty of time and room.
Airlines at St. Louis Lambert International Airport have cancelled 25 arrivals and 20 departures for Friday, January 11,. Southwest Airlines & United Airlines have issued travel waivers for passengers flying to or from STL. Check the status of your flight with your airline before heading to the airport.
Several school districts and universities are closing early Friday, in order to get students home before roads begin to deteriorate.
Students on both sides of the river are heading home early. See our updating list of closures here.
The timing of the snow's arrival in the metro area is becoming clear. The metro area should start seeing snowflakes around noon.
Precipitation will start off as a rain/sleet/snow mix west and southwest of St. Louis Friday morning and move into the metro around lunch time. Start times look a tad earlier, around 12-2 PM in St. Louis and earlier to the southwest.
We will see a pro-longed period of snow through Saturday night. We are currently forecasting a large swath of 5" to 9" snow. Isolated spots, including parts of the Metro area, may see totals higher than 9". The bulk of that snow accumulation comes Friday afternoon through Saturday morning.