By Guidon staffNovember 5, 2015
With winter weather always a concern in Missouri during November through March, travelers and commuters need to know the latest road conditions before hitting the highways.
For employees on Fort Leonard Wood, the post has a program in place to keep drivers informed of treacherous travel and weather-related information.
During winter weather conditions, the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood Installation Operations Center coordinates snow and ice removal, or SNAIR, operations in order to ensure individual safety and minimal impact to training and other missions, said Becky Haas, Installation Operations Center chief.
Haas said the purpose of SNAIR is to keep the populace aware of current road conditions, manage removal of snow and ice and get the installation back to normal as soon as possible.
The IOC has several ways drivers can check road conditions before operating their vehicles.
The program is a cooperative effort between the installation's garrison directorates and mission/brigade assets facilitated by the IOC.
Road conditions on post are broken down into color-coded definitions to quickly tell drivers what to expect, as the weather changes.
This information is available through a variety of means.
"The Fort Leonard Wood Weather Alerts page is updated at 5 a.m. every day and as weather conditions change. It can be accessed from the Fort Leonard Wood home page or at www.wood.army.mil/snair/snair.pdf," Haas said.
By going to the web page, drivers can access facility closures, current road conditions, status of primary parking lots and more.
The Weather Phone is also updated daily at 5 a.m. and as weather conditions change. The recorded message can be heard by calling 563.4141.
A new feature allows commuters to get the information pushed to them, rather than having to access the information.
"The Desktop Alert and AtHoc programs are our preferred method of publishing any severe weather-related information,"Haas said.
"For personnel on the Fort Leonard Wood domain (Enterprise email), they can set up their personal profile on Desktop Alert to receive emails and text messages directly to their phone or their personal email accounts. This service is not available to all carriers. Information on this feature can be found at www.wood.army.mil/newweb/weather.html under the Desktop Alert Setup hyperlink. Setting up the service requires CAC logon."
In addition, several local radio and television stations in Lebanon, Rolla and St. Robert and Waynesville usually carry information on road conditions and post operations.
Another feature to help those commuting from areas outside Fort Leonard Wood is the Missouri Department of Transportation Web page at, www.traveler.modot.org/map/.
Click on the Traveler Info Map and the icon for traffic cameras on the left of the Web page and then select an area on I-44 to view.
"If you go to the MODOT Web page, they have cameras nearly all over the state so you can actually get a visual right outside Rolla, Lebanon, Waynesville and St. Robert, as well as road conditions statewide," Haas said.
While getting weather information out to the public is the IOC's main priority, they are also responsible for coordinating the clearing operations on Fort Leonard Wood.
Officials said every road on Fort Leonard Wood is mapped out and given a priority by the installation, and each SNAIR asset, such as TFW-TSAY, DPW, military units and others are given an area to clear.
Road condition codes
-- Green: No safety threat to the public due to weather conditions. Proceed with normal operations.
-- Amber: Difficult to hazardous road conditions. Drivers must slow to 10 miles per hour below the posted speed limit to maintain traction and a safe stopping distance.
Roads are icy or snow packed, but clearing operations are making roads passable.
-- Red: Most intersections present difficult or no stopping conditions. Weather forecast calls for continued precipitation with below-freezing temperatures.
Clearing operations have not kept priority number one roads easily passable.
Black ice or ice sheeting has made passage hazardous.
Speed limit is 10 to 15 MPH regardless of posted limit, driving above 10 to 15 MPH causes vehicles to lose traction and safe stopping distances are significantly increased.
-- Black: Restriction of all vehicular traffic on Fort Leonard Wood.
Emergency vehicles are unrestricted (including, DPW, SNAIR support team and mission essential vehicles).
Non-emergency vehicles must obtain approval from their authorized delegated officer.
(Editor's note: Becky Haas, Fort Leonard Wood IOC chief, contributed to this article.)