I-55 open in Pemiscot, New Madrid Counties after numerous crashes; drivers urged to use extra caution

Traffic was backed up on I-55 in New Madrid, Mo. on Thursday morning and afternoon, January 6....
Traffic was backed up on I-55 in New Madrid, Mo. on Thursday morning and afternoon, January 6. (Courtesy: Andy Wilkerson)(Andy Wilkerson)
Published: Jan. 6, 2022 at 9:37 AM CST|Updated: Jan. 7, 2022 at 4:14 AM CST
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SOUTHEAST MISSOURI (KFVS) - Multiple crashes brought traffic to a halt on Interstate 55 on Thursday, January 6.

According to the Missouri Department of Transportation, the northbound lanes of I-55 near mile marker 2.5 in Pemiscot County were closed from an hour to two hours in the afternoon.

The southbound lanes in this location also closed at one point and once the area was cleared the lanes reopened.

In New Madrid County, southbound I-55 between mile markers 35 and 63 were closed for several hours.

According to MoDOT, crews had to remove mud and debris to reopen the southbound lanes.

In addition to this location, all lanes of northbound I-55 from mile marker 32 at the Pemiscot/New Madrid County line to mile marker 44 in New Madrid County was also closed.

MoDOT said all the roads were clear and open shortly before 10 p.m., but were concerned over any wet surface refreezing because of low temperatures overnight.

Drivers are urged to travel slowly, be alert, use extra caution and to wear a seat belt.

Traffic on I-55 due to weather conditions.
Traffic on I-55 due to weather conditions.(Scotty Boone)

As snow started to fall Thursday morning, the Missouri State Highway Patrol urged drivers to stay off of roads in southeast Missouri.

According to MSHP Troop E Sgt. Clark Parrott, more than a dozen vehicles, including SEMIs, slid off of Interstate 55 in New Madrid County. This was before 10 a.m.

Sgt. Parrott said a combination of slick roads and drivers traveling to fast for conditions was to blame.

He said drivers that did need to get out should travel at a slower pace and allow for extra time.

He advised it was better to stay home and off of the roads to allow MoDOT crews to plow and treat snow covered routes.

Accumulating snow is creating slick spots and reducing visibility in many locations in the 13 counties of MSHP Troop E.

As the day progressed, Sgt. Parrott said there were nearly 100 crashes and more than 30 stranded motorists on Thursday.

If you you have to travel today, check current road conditions by clicking on the links below.

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