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Columbia Public Schools closed Friday; MU reopens

Thursday, February 3, 2011 | 11:06 a.m. CST; updated 11:22 p.m. CST, Thursday, February 3, 2011

City to try picking up trash, recyclables

4:38 p.m. The city will try to resume residential trash and recycling services on Friday, but the Public Works Department is asking those who can wait to hold off until next week. Collection crews will work Friday routes to the best of their ability, but there may be some areas, particularly cul-de-sacs, that the trucks can't reach. The city landfill will be open for regular hours. 

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Columbia Transit to resume full service.

3:50 p.m. Columbia Transit will be on regular schedule Friday, Drew Brooks, transportation supervisor, wrote in an e-mail.

All MU shuttles and the 209 Black and 207/208 Gold Routes will also return to service with the re-opening of campus. However, delays are expected during peak service, Brooks wrote.

Columbia Public Schools closed Friday

1:55 p.m. The district will remain closed for another day because of the weather, Community Relations Coordinator Michelle Baumstark said.

Interstate 44 reopens

1:06 p.m. Interstate 44 has reopened from Joplin to the Oklahoma state line, the Missouri Department of Transportation reported early Thursday afternoon. That section of the interstate through southwest Missouri was closed during the height of the snowstorm earlier this week. The Will Rogers Turnpike in Oklahoma also has reopened after an accident early Thursday morning forced it to be closed.

Travelers can get information about road conditions statewide at the highway department's online Traveler Information Map. They also can call (888) 275-6636.

 

Some Wednesday mail deliveries were delayed

12:57 p.m. The Columbia Post Office was able to deliver only express and priority mail Wednesday because the snow-buried Interstate 70 was shut down, spokeswoman Cheryl Hudson said Thursday.

Hudson said that even the post office did not receive local mail until noon Wednesday. Mail carriers were back to delivering regular mail Thursday, but Hudson said they might be unable to make deliveries if they cannot safely get through the snow.

“If they can get there, they will,” Hudson said. “They’re very determined employees. Especially today. It’s the third of the month, and there’s a lot of elderly who will need their Social Security checks. They’re doing everything in their power to get that to them.”

Sometimes, though, the snow is impassable, plows pile up snow in front of mailboxes, or mailboxes fall under the weight of the snow, Hudson said.

“Every carrier has gone to the street,” Hudson said. “They have instructions to deliver where they can and be safe.”

Hudson said mail carriers will bring mail back to the post office if they are unable to deliver it. Customers with a 65203 zip code can pick up their mail at the 511 E. Walnut St. location, and customers with a 65201 or 65202 zip code can pick it up at the 3212B LeMone Industrial Blvd. Customers can also choose to meet their carrier outside and present identification to pick up their mail.

 

Journalism at the Movies canceled

12:10 p.m. Thursday evening's Journalism at the Movies has been canceled, MU journalism professor Betty Winfield said, adding that she will try to find another date to show "The Foreign Correspondent."

Winfield plans to show "Citizen Kane" at 7 p.m. Feb. 10 in Fisher Auditorium at MU's Gannett Hall. Journalism professors Marty Steffens and Earnest Perry will lead a discussion of that film.

Chamber postpones, reschedules events

12:06 p.m. The Columbia Chamber of Commerce is rescheduling Thursday events as a result of the snow, spokeswoman Amanda Barnes said in an e-mail.

A forum for candidates seeking the First and Fifth ward seats on the Columbia City Council that had been scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Thursday has been postponed one week. It will be held from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Feb. 10 in the Community Room of the Walton Building, 300 S. Providence Road.

The chamber’s Emerging Professionals in Columbia group had been scheduled to hold a Meet Your Political Leaders event at 5:30 p.m. Thursday. That has been postponed, but no new date has been set. Members can check the Chamber’s website to learn the new time.

The Chamber has also canceled the Executive Connections meeting scheduled for 7:30 a.m. Friday.

More snow possible this weekend

11:20 a.m. Columbia probably will see more snow on Friday and through the weekend, according to the latest forecast from the National Weather Service, but it is unclear how much.

Ben Miller, forecast meteorologist with the National Weather Service in St. Louis, said Thursday morning that there was a possibility of a light dusting of snow Friday and Friday night. He expects no more than an inch of accumulation. But significant accumulation is possible Sunday and Monday, he said.

"It's too early to tell where the more intense snow will be, but it won't be as big as the last one," Miller said.

Tony Lupo, a professor of atmospheric science at MU, said the amount of snow Columbia gets will depend on the path the two snow systems take. Lupo said snow will predominate on the northern side of the systems, while rain will be more likely on the south.

"Both are coming from the Gulf of Mexico, but if they stay southeast of us we should get the best chance for snow," Lupo said.

Lupo predicted only a trace of snow Friday night into Saturday morning and one to three inches Sunday and Monday.

The service is forecasting more moderate temperatures for the weekend, with highs on Saturday and Sunday near 32 degrees.

Snow crews continue to move through city

11:10 a.m. City crews have plowed snow from about 40 percent of residential streets and will continue focusing on those today, Public Works Department spokeswoman Jill Stedem said in a news release Thursday morning.

“Public Works is asking citizens to please be patient, and crews will get to their streets as soon as possible, if they haven’t made it there yet,” Stedem said in the release.

Stedem said residents should refrain from calling the city-county office of Joint Communications or the Street Division to report that their streets have not been plowed. Those numbers are for emergencies only. Snow plows are equipped with GPS units that help crews know which streets have been plowed.

Stedem said in the release that snow removal has been slow but that the city rented front-end loaders, backhoes and other special equipment to help remove snow from residential streets where no room remains to pile it up. Staff from other departments are also helping with snow removal and hauling.

The Public Works Department also asked again that people remove parked cars from streets to make snow removal easier. 

Columbia schools' last day extended by one day, so far

10:45 a.m. The last day of school for Columbia Public Schools has been extended from June 1 to June 2, according to an e-mail sent from Superintendent Chris Belcher to all schools' staff and teachers.

Thursday marks the schools' seventh snow day.

State law requires six snow days to be built into the academic calendar. Additional snow days will be given 50 percent forgiveness up to a total of 10 days.

The last day of school will be as follows depending on the total number of cancellations:

  •  June 1: Up to six snow days. Original last day of school.
  •  June 2: Seven to eight snow days. Current last day of school.
  •  June 3: Nine to 10 snow days.
  •  June 6: 11 snow days.
  •  June 7: 12 snow days.

The absolute last day of school is June 7. Any cancellations exceeding 12 will be forgiven.

 


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