Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Amazing Snow Fighters, Amazing Missourians

Making a snowman with your daughter.

Your son clinging to you as you sled down the hill.

Sipping hot chocolate by the fireplace with your spouse.

Snow storms like the one we just experienced sure aren't fun, but there are moments that make for fond memories. Most of us take these moments for granted.

The heroic men and women who take care of our roads, however, do not. In fact, they may never experience many of the winter activities the rest of us enjoy. That's because when it is snowing they are treating roads with salt, plowing and even assisting stranded motorists. They wouldn't have it any other way.

I am proud to work with these great folks. Over the past few days, faced with a historic snow storm, I have been reminded of the dedication and can-do attitude of the people who work tirelessly to keep our roads safe. Even at the darkest (or whitest) points of this storm when the wind was blowing the snow back on the highways about as quick as we plowed it off, our crews kept fighting. They were focused on holding their own in the battle knowing they would eventually win the war. And, while there is much work left to do, they are winning that war.

I have also been reminded of what great people live in the state of Missouri. The outpouring of support on MoDOT's Facebook page, through email, phone calls and other ways has been heartwarming. Most people didn't ask questions. They made a special effort to simply let our crews know they appreciated them and encouraged them to stay safe.

For the most part, people also heeded our strong cautions to stay off the roads if at all possible. Missourians recognized that the safest place to be was at home. This good old Missouri common sense limited accidents and allowed our snow crews to do their jobs.

The efforts of our crews and the support of Missourians remind us that transportation is indeed personal. In the coming months, we will talk more about why a safe transportation system with lots of options to get where you need to go has a personal benefit to each of us.

In the meantime, stay safe, stay warm and thank you for the support you have shown our amazing snow fighters.