Windy conditions present danger for drivers, homeowners - KCTV5

Windy conditions present danger for drivers, homeowners

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This time of year brings lots of wind gusts, and it can present dangers at home and on the road. This time of year brings lots of wind gusts, and it can present dangers at home and on the road.
GRAIN VALLEY, MO (KCTV) -

This time of year brings lots of wind gusts, and it can present dangers at home and on the road.

No drivers feel sudden gusts of wind more than truckers, like Alan Hess. He was headed right into it Monday afternoon, and his high-profile semi-truck catches every blast.

"The wind, it kind of kicks you all over the road. You have be on top of this thing all the time," he said.

If drivers aren't careful, the wind can actually blow a trailer out of it's lane, and a gust can come out of nowhere.

"If you hit a big gust, you have to be prepared to get it over the other way. You have to slow down because if you're going too dang fast, what will happen is it will shove you into a car if you're not careful or into a ditch," Hess said.

That is why trucking advocacy groups, like the Owner Operator Independent Driver's Association, try to educate drivers about sharing the road with commercial vehicles.

Jon Osburn says all drivers should keep both hands on the wheel…and give trucks, trailers and vans extra space to allow for sudden bursts of wind.

"It happens to all of us. We're really cautious, and we have to be. I ride a motorcycle, and I have to be. I have to be cautious in the wind with a motorcycle. Wind adds another element," Osburn said.

Wind can cause issues at home, too.

Firefighters often deal with sudden fires that flare up because of a deadly combination of dry grass and heavy winds.

Eddie Saffell at the Jackson County Fire District says a single spark can fuel an inferno in this kind of weather.

"With the wind today like it is, it wouldn't take but just a few seconds for a cigarette or a match or something in the grass, and then for it to grow and take off," Saffell said.

Saffell says in the spring, a fire can even start after a rain because the grass hasn't soaked up enough water from the ground. A field can still burn even if it is muddy.

"For the most part, we've asked everybody not to burn anything outside at all," Saffell said.

Gusts of wind create sudden safety hazards, but a little planning and prevention can help prevent an accident.

The Missouri Department of Transportation says drivers should also watch out for debris in this windy weather. They say temporary road signs can actually blow over into the highway.

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