Missouri works to dig out from snowstorm

Saturday, December 7, 2013 | 6:24 p.m. CST

KANSAS CITY — A large swath of southern Missouri was working Saturday in bitter cold to dig out from a storm that coated the region with a mixture of snow, ice and sleet.

Missouri is among many states dealing with the aftermath of a late-fall cold snap. From Thursday to Friday, 6 to 12 inches of snow fell in areas of the state south of Interstate 44, with some of the heaviest accumulations recorded near the Missouri-Arkansas border, said Mike Griffin, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Springfield.

Another storm system was expected to hit the state late Saturday and early Sunday, dumping 1 to 3 inches in north and west-central Missouri, with the heaviest accumulations near the Iowa-Missouri border. Only a dusting of snow was expected farther south.

"The worst is over," Griffin said. "Now we just need to thaw out and melt all the snow down here."

Although a wind-chill advisory covering much of the southern half of the state was allowed to expire mid-morning Saturday, temperatures remained well below average across much of region. At Kansas City International Airport, the thermometer dipped to 1 degree Saturday morning, tying a record low, said Mike July, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service's office in the Kansas City suburb of Pleasant Hill.

The cold, however, didn't stop a group of runners from competing Saturday in a southeast Missouri race that was hastily organized after the St. Jude Memphis Marathon was canceled because of the weather.

The free Cape Girardeau event, dubbed the St. Jude's Frostbite Half/Full Marathon, attracted 26 heavily bundled participants, with 22 finishing the half-marathon. Only one racer finished the whole 26.2 mile course with a time of 5 hours and 40 minutes, said Kim Kelpe, co-owner of Missouri Running Co. She and her husband got involved in organizing the run after some of the store's customers shared on Facebook that the cancellation of the Memphis race wasn't going to stop them from running.

"It was brutal," Kelpe said, adding that the temperature measured only 11 degrees when the race started on a snow-covered hiking and biking trail. "It was a very, very tough course. We have, I think, 8 inches of snow."

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