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Heavy snow challenges road crews

Thursday, February 21, 2013 | 11:41 a.m. CST; updated 7:52 p.m. CST, Thursday, February 21, 2013
A snow plow is out at Providence and Green Meadows roads.

COLUMBIA — City crews continued treating and plowing streets Thursday morning, but plows were having difficulty keeping up with the continued snowfall.

"If you do not have to travel do not do so," Steve Sapp of Columbia Public Works said. "If you have to travel, allow plenty of time to get where you're going, be patient and buckle up." 

Sgt. Paul Reinsch of the Missouri State Highway Patrol's Troop F in Jefferson City said roads in Boone County were snow-covered late in the morning with visibility of less than 100 yards at times.

A trained spotter for the National Weather Service reported thunder and heavy snow in Columbia at 9:40 a.m. with 2.5 inches of accumulation. Heavy thunder snow was reported at 9:25 a.m. four miles northeast of Rocheport.

Late Thursday morning, the weather service in Kansas City updated snowfall totals along Interstate 70 in west-central Missouri to 10 to 14 inches.

City crews were focused on priority streets until passable before moving into residential areas, Sapp said. "They will probably not get to residential areas until Friday morning."

"Essentially, they're all problem roadways," Sapp said about possible problem areas.

"We have over 1,100 miles of roadway to treat and plow in major snow events," Sapp said. "If you put that on a map you can drive to Columbia, Missouri, to city limits of Hoboken, N.J."

The city at noon reported that refuse and recycling routes were running as normal but could encounter delays. Twenty-four trucks were treating and plowing streets at mid-day Thursday.

The city asked residents to park vehicles in driveways or parking lots so crews can plow  to the curb, and to shovel snow to the right of the driveway, facing the street, to avoid having driveways plowed shut.

Sled Hill at Stephens Lake Park was open and busy late Thursday morning, but park officials advised motorists without four-wheel drive to stay off the roads.

Mike Griggs, assistant director of Parks and Recreation, said crews were working to clear snow from lots and roads at the park. He recommended that people wait until after the storm to take advantage of winter recreation at the park.

The city announced that the Activity and Recreation Center will close at 2 p.m. Thursday, and cancellations included evening meetings of the Board of Health as well as Parks and Recreation. Boone County government offices will close at noon.

For more cancellations, check the Missourian's live update.


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