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PHOTO GALLERY: Thursday Snow Day

Thursday, January 7, 2010 | 11:06 a.m. CST; updated 5:16 p.m. CST, Thursday, January 7, 2010
Angie McGeorge puts salt on the sidewalk she cleared outside her house after taking her husband to work Thursday morning. "I don't want to get sued by the postman," she said with a laugh.

COLUMBIA — The city received approximately 2.7 inches of snow by 7 a.m. Thursday, according to the National Weather Service. That was enough to keep residents busy clearing sidewalks before an expected drop in temperatures later in the afternoon.

According to the weather service, winds from the west around 22 mph, with gusts up to 32 mph, will cause blowing and drifting snow Thursday afternoon. Wind chills are expected to reach minus-15 degrees.

Between 2 p.m. Wednesday and 4 p.m. Thursday, the Boone County Fire Protection District responded to about 50 accidents countywide, Division Chief Gale Blomenkamp said. The Columbia Fire Department responded to 28 injury accidents between 2 p.m. and 7 a.m. according to a news release. They responded to six injury crashes after 6 a.m. Thursday.

Most of the accidents occurred Wednesday between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., Blomenkamp said.

The Department of Public Works is planning to keep snowplow crews out all day and more will be sent out tonight, Public Works Operations Manager Mary Ellen Lea said.

Lea said snowplows worked to clear first- and second-priority and critical streets based on the map that Public Works has developed over the years. All 17 snowplow drivers have been working 12-hour shifts to clear the streets, Lea said.

City buses are operating on the emergency weather schedule due to the heavy snowfall. All buses depart from Wabash Station at the top of each hour and depart from route end points on the half hour. Ken Koopmans, transportation manager, said there have been no problems with buses being unable to drive their normal routes and that the only difference is scheduling. 

A news release from the health department designated several businesses as "warming centers." The Public Health and Human Services Department said in the release that the following locations would be open during normal business hours for anyone to seek shelter from the cold:

  • Activity and Recreation Center, 1707 W. Ash St., 874-7700
  • Armory Sports and Community Center, 701 E. Ash St., 874-7466
  • Boone County Government Center, 801 E. Walnut St., 886-4305
  • The health department, 1005 W. Worley St., 874-7488
  • Columbia Mall, 2300 Bernadette Drive, 445-8458
  • Columbia Public Library, 100 W. Broadway, 443-3161
  • Interfaith Day Center/Loaves and Fishes, 616 Park Ave., 875-0826
  • Salvation Army, 1108 W. Ash St., 442-3229
  • Salvation Army Harbor House, 602 N. Ann St., 442-1984

The Missouri United Methodist Church, 204 S. Ninth St., will be open from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. through Sunday morning for anyone needing shelter, according to the release.

 

Missourian reporters Katherine Oriez, Allison Ziemba and Jonathan Arner contributed to this report.

 


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Comments

Tammy Miller January 7, 2010 | 3:42 p.m.

Great photos! we'd like to clarify that on the last one with the caption of "An unattended fire burns at Stephens Lake Park early Thursday morning," we want to point out that this fire is actually in the designated fire pit near the Collins Shelter. By 3:00 pm Thursday afternoon, this pit was surrounded by parents and sledders trying to keep warm.

The Collins Fire Pit, designed to meet all state and local laws regarding recreational fires may be rented or used on a first come, first served basis. Wood for the firepit is provided by the Parks and Recreation Department and is kept on-site only during the winter sports season.

So, for all of those that like to enjoy a bonfire on a cool fall night or a simply as a place to warm during winter sports, Stephens Lake Park is the place for you.

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