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Sunday, 02 March 2014 16:28

MoDOT issues state-wide travel advisory

   JEFFERSON CITY, MO – With weekend snow and freezing rain covering the most of the state, Missouri travelers are advised to use caution if they must travel Sunday evening and Monday morning.
   Snow, sleet and freezing rain is expected to continue statewide, affecting road conditions overnight. Extreme cold temperatures and high wind continues to be a concern, causing blowing and drifting snow.
   "MoDOT crews will work throughout the night to keep roads plowed and treated," said Beth Wright, MoDOT state maintenance engineer. "We encourage people to stay tuned to local weather forecasts, check road conditions on MoDOT's traveler map, and avoid travel if possible."
   Heavier snow is in the forecast for northern and central Missouri with accumulations expected to reach from 3 to 6 inches, and a possibility of 1 to 3 inches in the southern counties of the state. Precipitation is expected to continue through Monday morning.
   If you must travel, take your mobile phone and winter survival supplies. If you become stranded, stay with your vehicle and call 911. Be aware that emergency responders may have difficulty reaching you. 
   Remember the following winter driving tips:
 
   ·       Wear your seat belt.
   ·       Slow down, and adjust your speed to the conditions.
   ·       Give snow plows plenty of room.
   ·       Keep your windshield and windows clear to help you see.
   ·       Be alert and remember that road conditions can change very quickly.
   ·       Allow extra travel time to get to your destination.
 
   Stay informed about Missouri road conditions by using MoDOT's Traveler Information Map, available online at www.modot.org or through the smartphone app. The map offers current views of road conditions for Missouri interstates and highways. You can zoom in to a particular location, check live weather radar and view images from MoDOT's traffic cameras and message boards.
   MoDOT also provides road conditions information through the Customer Service Center. Dial 1-888-ASK-MODOT (1-888-275-6636) to speak to a customer service representative. They are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
 
Published in Local News

   ISLAMABAD (AP) — The State Department has warned Americans not to travel to Pakistan and evacuated nonessential government personnel from the country's second largest city because of a specific threat to the consulate there, a U.S. official said Friday.

   The move was not related to the threat of an al-Qaida attack that prompted Washington to close temporarily 19 diplomatic posts in the Middle East and Africa.

   According to U.S. Embassy spokeswoman Meghan Gregonis, the U.S. is shifting its nonessential staff from the consulate in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore to the capital, Islamabad.

   Emergency personnel will stay in Lahore, and embassy officials do not know when the consulate will reopen, she said.

   "We received information regarding a threat to the consulate," said Gregonis. "As a precautionary measure, we are undertaking a drawdown of all except emergency personnel."

   The consulate in Lahore was already scheduled to be closed for the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr from Thursday through Sunday.

   The personnel drawdown at the Lahore consulate was precautionary and wasn't related to the recent closures of numerous U.S. diplomatic missions in the Muslim world, said two U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the order.

   Earlier this week, 19 U.S. diplomatic outposts in 16 countries in the Middle East and Africa were closed to the public through Saturday and nonessential personnel were evacuated from the U.S. Embassy in Yemen after U.S. intelligence officials said they had intercepted a recent message from al-Qaida's top leader about plans for a major terror attack.

   None of the consulates in Pakistan or the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad were affected by the earlier closures.

   On Thursday, the State Department issued a travel warning saying the presence of several foreign and indigenous terrorist groups posed a potential danger to U.S. citizens throughout Pakistan.

   The country has faced a bloody insurgency by the Pakistani Taliban and their allies in recent years that has killed over 40,000 civilians and security personnel, and is also believed to be home base for al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri. Most of the militant attacks have been in the northwest and southwest along the border with Afghanistan.

   Gunmen killed six people and wounded 15 others Friday in an attack on a former lawmaker outside a mosque in Quetta, the capital of southwest Baluchistan province, said police officer Bashir Ahmad Barohi. The lawmaker escaped unharmed. A day earlier, a Taliban suicide bomber killed 30 people at a police funeral in Quetta.

   Pakistan's major cities, including Lahore, have also experienced periodic attacks.

   A powerful bomb exploded at a busy market street in Lahore in early July, killing at least four people and wounding nearly 50.

   Lahore is considered Pakistan's cultural capital and has a population of at least 10 million people.

   A CIA contractor shot to death two Pakistanis in Lahore in January 2011 who he said were trying to rob him. The incident severely damaged relations between Pakistan and the U.S. The contractor, Raymond Davis, was released by Pakistan in March 2011 after the families of the victims were paid over $2 million.

 

___

 

Associated Press writer Abdul Sattar in Quetta, Pakistan, and Matthew Lee in Washington contributed to this report.

Published in National News
Friday, 22 March 2013 15:20

MoDOT issues travel advisory for weekend

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri Department of Transportation has issued a travel advisory for the weekend because of anticipated snowfalls of up to 3 inches per hour that could make driving nearly impossible at times.

Rain is expected to turn to snow Saturday afternoon across the state, posing a risk for travelers because of the rate of snowfall and lack of visibility. The storm is expected to continue until about noon Sunday in the western part of Missouri and taper off across the state throughout the day.

MoDOT spokesman Dan Niec says the storm will be just as challenging as two in late February that each dropped a foot of snow on the region.

He says the Transportation Department posts road conditions on its website, www.modot.org, which is updated continuously as conditions change.
Published in Local News

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