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UPDATE: Cars slow, slide on Columbia's snowy roads

Thursday, January 12, 2012 | 9:51 a.m. CST; updated 2:03 p.m. CST, Thursday, January 12, 2012
Columbia Police officer John Voss takes notes at the scene of a two-car accident on I-70 Drive Southeast in Columbia on Thursday. Ice on roads caused unsafe driving conditions Thursday during the morning commute. Police reported seven snow-related accidents between midnight and 8:30 a.m. Thursday.

COLUMBIA — A quick-moving storm system dropped enough snow early Thursday morning to close area schools and make for a slow morning commute.

Suzanne Fred, a shift supervisor with the Joint Communications Center, estimated there had been three to four traffic accidents involving either contact between vehicles or a vehicle and a post or structure. She also reported five to six "slide-offs."

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One traffic mishap resulted in a minor injury, she said, and the person was treated and released.

"The crews are out there, and we're pretty happy about that," Fred said. "It's been more uneventful than past occasions."

Columbia police reported working seven snow-related accidents, including one rollover, between midnight and 8:30 a.m. Thursday.

City crews continued to work through the morning to clear streets.

"Most primary roads are a bit slushy, and some residential roads are still snow-covered," Jill Stedem, spokeswoman for the Public Works Department, said at mid-morning.

Seven plows began salting and pre-treating 171 miles of priority roads at 10 p.m. Wednesday. A full crew of 22 plows began work at 5 a.m. Thursday and were focusing on residential streets, which were expected to be cleared by Thursday afternoon, Stedem said.

First priority roads include major thoroughfares such as Broadway and Vandiver Drive. The second priority is roads that lead to schools or hospitals. The Missouri Department of Transportation is responsible for clearing state roads in Columbia such as Stadium Drive, College Avenue, Providence Road, Interstate 70 and U.S. 63.

Early snowfall reports from the National Weather Service ranged from 1 to 1.2 inches in the Columbia area to 1.8 inches just south of St. Louis.

Snow showers were forecast to continue before noon, with scattered snow showers in the afternoon.

A winter weather advisory remained in effect until 6 p.m. Thursday for hazardous driving conditions created by snow and blowing snow driven by northwest winds gusting 30 to 35 mph. The Weather Service forecast a high on Thursday of 22 with wind chill values in the single digits.

The Missouri Department of Transportation website has a map with information about road conditions statewide.


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Kirk Judd January 18, 2012 | 6:56 p.m.
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