FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — With winter weather always a concern in Missouri from November through March, travelers and commuters need to know the latest conditions before hitting the roads.
The installation’s snow and ice removal program — referred to as SNAIR — has various methods in place to keep people 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 SNAIR to ensure the safety of personnel and to minimize the impact to training and other missions, said Patrick Daniels, deputy director of Fort Leonard Wood’s Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security — the agency that oversees the program.
“The purpose of SNAIR is to keep everyone aware of current road conditions, manage removal of snow and ice and get the installation back to normal as soon as safely possible,” Daniels said.
SNAIR is a cooperative effort between the installation’s garrison directorates and mission and brigade assets. It is facilitated by the IOC. Compiled weather information is provided via several venues, and drivers can check road conditions before operating their vehicles.
The Fort Leonard Wood Current Weather page is updated at 4 a.m. every day year-round and as weather conditions change.
“Road conditions on post are broken down by color-coded definitions to quickly tell drivers what to expect as the weather changes,” Daniels said. “On that web page, drivers can access facility closures, current road conditions, status of primary parking lots and more.”
The Wood Line is also updated daily at 4 a.m. and as weather conditions change, and the recorded message can be heard by calling 573.563.4141. However, this line can get easily inundated with incoming calls and will not allow Watch Office personnel to update the message.
Commuters can get updated weather information on their smartphone through the Digital Garrison app, available for free in the Google Play or Apple App Store. Common Access Cardholders, their family members, long-term contractors, private organizations and tenants on the installation can also receive notifications on their phones via the ALERT! Mass Warning Notification System.
“The ALERT! system is our preferred method of publishing any severe weather-related information,” Daniels said. “I would encourage everyone to go and sign up using the blue icon located in the bottom right corner on your work computer.”
The installation’s official Facebook page and Twitter account — @fortleonardwood — are typically updated quickly as well. In addition, several local radio and television stations in Lebanon, Rolla, St. Robert and Waynesville usually carry information on road conditions and post operations.
“Missouri weather can vary greatly from one location to the next,” Daniels said. “Last year was a good example — during one snow event, we had two inches on the north end of post and no snow at the south end. Everyone should take individual responsibility and be prepared for the ever-changing road conditions. Check your local conditions, the route conditions as well as the destination’s weather conditions.”
Another avenue of information is the Missouri Department of Transportation web page. Visitors to this site can click on the traveler info map and the icon for traffic cameras on the left of the page and can then select an area of I-44 to view live.
“For off-post commuters, this is the best way to check the road conditions that get you to the installation,” said Daniels, who added the best piece of advice regarding driving and winter weather is to plan a little extra time to get to work and slow down. “A couple extra minutes is not worth anyone’s life.”