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MU cancels classes; public schools stay closed; city, county offices will reopen

Wednesday, February 2, 2011 | 9:37 a.m. CST; updated 9:21 a.m. CST, Thursday, February 3, 2011

City, county offices to reopen

5:35 p.m. City and county offices will reopen Thursday, although they may be short-staffed.

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Columbia Transit and Para-Transit will operate on the emergency weather schedule starting Thursday morning.

Boone County Courthouse will be open and operating with limited number of employees, as will the Boone County Government Center.

Offices in City Hall will resume operations as close to normal as possible, as will offices in the Gentry Building and the Howard Municipal Building.

The Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Office of Neighborhood Services, Public Health and Human Services, and the Regional Economic Development office will all be open.

The ARC will reopen at 9 a.m. Thursday.

 

Weather causes Columbia Transit to adjust routes

4:52 p.m. Columbia Transit will be on the emergency weather schedule on Thursday. Campus shuttle service and the Gold and Black routes will not be running.

Several routes will be on detour because of road conditions.

  • 101 South Loop: Morning rotation is south on Providence Road to Nifong Boulevard, east on Nifong to Green Meadows Road. Afternoon rotation is Green Meadows to south on Providence, east on Nifong to north on Green Meadows. No service on Buttonwood and Gray Oak drives.
  • 102 East Business Loop: Buses will not be traveling through Indian Hills; catch the bus at Rice Road and Ballenger.
  • 106 Downtown: Buses will travel from University Hospital to north on Tiger Avenue — no bus service to Fifth Street and Turner Avenue, Fifth Street and Conley Avenue, and Sixth Street and Conley Avenue.

MU required to offer a certain number of classes

4:24 p.m. MU has canceled classes for third consecutive day, and a university news release urged faculty to not reschedule classes or finals just yet.

"As soon as they are able to get back on campus, the provost is planning to call together members of the faculty executive committee, and they are planning to talk about how they need to reschedule finals week," MU spokeswoman Mary Jo Banken said.

Banken said classes that have been missed must be made up according to the UM Collected Rules and Regulations. The university is required to offer a certain number of classes per semester, and the committee will find a way to do that.

Columbia Public Schools canceled Thursday

2:45 p.m. Because of snow accumulations and cold temperatures, the Columbia Public Schools will remain closed on Thursday.

MU men's basketball team arrives for game

2:30 p.m. The Missouri men's basketball team is now safely in Stillwater, Okla.

Team spokesman Dave Reiter confirmed that the team landed in Stillwater around 1:45 p.m. 

Missouri's original plans were to fly to Oklahoma City, then bus to the Oklahoma State campus, but Reiter said conditions were clear enough to allow Missouri to fly directly to Stillwater. Missouri's game against the Cowboys is scheduled for an 8 p.m. start Wednesday and can be viewed on ESPN2.

Trash removal canceled

2:05 p.m. Residential trash and recycling will not be picked up on Thursday. Commercial trash will be picked up in areas that are accessible to solid waste trucks.

MU cancels classes

2 p.m. MU will remain closed Thursday, with all classes canceled. UM System administration employees are included in the closure.

Classes are expected to resume Friday, with confirmation reported at 4 p.m.Thursday on MU Alert.

The blizzard has made clearing campus streets, walkways and parking lots challenging for maintenance crews, according to the MU News Bureau. It also remains difficult for many faculty, staff and students to get to campus.

All MU Health Care hospitals remain open 24/7.

Preliminary statewide accumulation totals

1:32 p.m. Some preliminary accumulation totals from the National Weather Service:

  • Boonville: 19 inches
  • Branson: 2.6 inches
  • Chesterfield: 3 inches
  • Kansas City: 9 inches
  • Kirksville: 14 inches
  • Lebanon: 13 inches
  • Sedalia: 21.3 inches
  • Springfield: 9.5 inches

City services to resume Thursday

12:56 p.m. City Manager Bill Watkins anticipates most, if not all, city offices will reopen Thursday. Columbia Transit and Para-Transit will operate on the emergency weather schedule starting Thursday morning. 

The city and the county's Office of Emergency Management continue to encourage residents to refrain from traveling.

National Guard use Columbia as a base for operations

12:35 p.m. Missouri National Guard soldiers aiding police, fire and emergency medical services in 11 Missouri counties will be in and out of the Columbia area for the next few days.

They won’t be on missions in Columbia, though. The city hasn’t asked for assistance, Major Tammy Spicer, a guard public affairs officer, said.

The soldiers, who are on 24-hour operations helping state agencies battle the effects of the snow, will be stopping by the Missouri National Guard’s 175th Military Police Battalion headquarters in north Columbia for occasional rest, according to battalion commander Sharon Martin. These soldiers are from military police units throughout the state, along with the 175th battalion’s permanently stationed soldiers.

The National Guard has been patrolling roads and highways, assisting stranded motorists, driving highway patrolmen and medical professionals to work and helping emergency medical services get through the snow.

“The vehicle we’re using mostly throughout this emergency is our green or desert colored Humvee,” Spicer said. “They’re designed for off-road travel, so the snow is something they can get around in.”

According to Spicer, there are 600 citizen soldiers on duty statewide. Most of their work is concentrated in St. Louis and St. Louis County, Martin said.

Men's basketball team en route to Oklahoma now

11:46 a.m. The Missouri men's basketball team is on the move again.

The Tigers' journey to Stillwater, Okla., for Wednesday night's basketball game against Oklahoma State started Monday after the team left Columbia as a proactive approach to get close to a large airport before being shut in by the incoming snowstorm.

The Tigers ended up spending all of Tuesday in Kansas City, unable to get a flight.

But, Missouri is back on track today. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch confirmed that Missouri is scheduled to fly from Kansas City International Airport to Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City at 11:30 a.m. After landing, Missouri plans on busing the remaining distance (60 to 70 miles) to the Oklahoma State campus in Stillwater. 

Wednesday's game is scheduled to start at 8 p.m. and can be seen on ESPN2. 

The women's basketball team is on track to play Nebraska at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Mizzou Arena. Nebraska's team spent Monday night in Kansas City and arrived in Columbia on Tuesday morning.

Snow clearing on residential, state roads

11:15 a.m. Eighteen snow plows and additional trucks with plows are working to clear Columbia's six wards. Jill Stedem, Public Works spokeswoman, said the goal is to get one lane in and one lane out on residential streets. That includes the roads in and around Greektown.

The city has some 500 miles of residential streets. Crews are working 12-hours shifts with changes at 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., Stedem said.

Stedem asked that residents keep their cars off the street to make plowing easier and more helpful. She also urged pedestrians to stay off the streets.

"It's just too dangerous right now, and our plows really need to be able to get out and plow the streets without having to worry about people being in the streets," Stedem said.

Right now, she said, the focus is on snow removal, and when that's done, then they will turn to treating ice. With the last big snow, it took from about Wednesday to about Sunday to clear the roads of snow.

Interstate 70 is open again in Missouri.

7 a.m. Interstate 70 had been shut down Tuesday from Kansas City almost all the way to St. Louis because of whiteout and slippery conditions caused by the massive winter storm that struck much of the nation. The Missouri Department of Transportation said it was simply too dangerous to keep open. It was the first closing of the interstate in its history.

The state set up shelters at several locations along the interstate for stranded motorists. 

Snowfall total: 17.5 inches

8:30 a.m. Snowfall in Columbia totaled 17.5 inches over a 24-hour period beginning Tuesday morning.

The record for a 24-hour snowfall was 19.7 inches, set Jan. 18 to 19, 1995, according to the National Weather Service.

The largest snowfall in February over 24 hours was 13.6 inches in 1900.  The biggest on Feb. 1 — before Tuesday — was 4.7 inches in 1956.

Today, temperatures will drop to minus-8 overnight, with highs of 13.

Wind chill advisory until noon

6:45 a.m. A wind chill advisory for Boone County remains in effect until noon Wednesday. Strong wind gusts up to 30 mph are expected throughout the morning, according to the National Weather Service.

Blowing, drifting snow will cause hazardous driving conditions throughout the region with visibility down to a mile at times.

 

 


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Derrick Fogle February 2, 2011 | 2:44 p.m.
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