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UPDATE: Snow blankets Columbia

Saturday, December 14, 2013 | 4:21 p.m. CST; updated 10:41 p.m. CST, Saturday, December 14, 2013
Columbia was covered in a layer of snow Saturday morning, and MU Campus Facilities crews were out early to make sure roads and sidewalks were cleared for the thousands of guests expected for December commencement ceremonies.

*This story has been updated to include information from Columbia Public Works and snow totals from the National Weather Service, as well as information about power outages that occurred near Hallsville. Those outages were not snow-related.

COLUMBIA — Residents awoke to a blanket of snow Saturday morning after Columbia Public Works crews worked overnight to clear and treat major roads.

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First- and second-priority roads had been plowed and treated as of 4 p.m., Public Works said in a news release. Because Columbia received less than 4 inches of snow, the department said, it would not clear roads in residential areas.

The department will have a crew on duty overnight to watch for refreezing on roads and to do cleanup work. It said that because priority routes had been cleared, residents could park on those streets again.

By noon Saturday, Interstate 70 in Columbia had been cleared, and Highway 63 and many other state roads were mostly cleared, according to the Traveler Information Map on MoDOT's website. I-70 and Highway 63 had been partially covered Saturday morning.

Jayson Gosselin, a National Weather Service meteorologist, said that accumulation across Columbia was about 3 inches and that the city shouldn't expect more snow to fall.

Within Columbia, Gosselin said:

  • Central Columbia received about 3 inches of snow.
  • The southeast downtown area received 2.2 inches.
  • MU received 3.1 inches.

Gale Blomenkamp of the Boone County Fire Protection District said in an email that there were several weather-related accidents. In one of those, a female suffered minor injuries.

Around 9:30 a.m., about 20 trucks from Public Works were plowing priority routes and treating them with salt, according to a news release from the department. Priority routes were partially to fully snow-covered at that time after additional early morning snowfall re-covered routes.

MU Campus Facilities began clearing snow from roads and sidewalks around 5 a.m. Saturday, worker Mike Duncan said, to ensure the campus was prepared for commencement ceremonies Saturday. MU announced Friday that winter graduations would remain on schedule despite the weather.

The ACT exam scheduled for Saturday at Hickman and Rock Bridge high schools was canceled because of the weather, Columbia Public Schools spokeswoman Michelle Baumstark said in an email. A running list of closing and cancellations can be found on KOMU/NBC's website.

Several power outages that occurred north of Columbia on Saturday morning were not weather-related, said Chris Rohlfing, manager of member services at Boone Electric Cooperative. He said the outages, which affected more than 1,500 customers in the Hallsville area, were caused by the failure of a transformer at a substation. Rohlfing said about 2:45 p.m. that all power should have been restored but that a few individual outages might be possible. Outages were listed on a Boone Electric Cooperative map.

Gosselin, of the National Weather Service, said Saturday morning that temperatures would remain steady throughout the weekend but would warm up Monday through Wednesday.

Jon Carney, a National Weather Service meteorologist, said Friday that temperatures would reach 50 degrees Thursday. However, he said another snowstorm was on the horizon at the end of the coming week, with temperatures dropping.


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