Five to seven inches of snow expected tonight

Saturday, December 15, 2007 | 1:26 p.m. CST; updated 11:53 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, July 16, 2008

COLUMBIA — Two to four inches of snow fell in Columbia between Friday evening and noon today, according to the National Weather Service in St. Louis.

Five to seven inches are expected to accumulate by tonight, said Butch Dye of the National Weather Service. The winter storm warning is in effect until midnight.

Public Works Department crews worked on snow removal Friday night and began pre-treating priority streets with salt two hours before snow fell, according to a news release.

There have been 33 accidents reported since midnight, but the majority have been non-injury, said Chuck Mastalski, 911 center staff supervisor.

“Road crews with the Missouri Department of Transportation, Boone County Public Works, and the city of Columbia have been out,” Mastalski said. “There have been no road closings to my knowledge. Outlying, lesser-traveled roads are always a little more difficult to access.”

The Columbia Fire Department has responded to three accidents today, all non-injury, said Captain Rick Douglas.

Douglas emphasized the need to use extreme caution when driving.

“Stay home if possible,” he said. “If you absolutely must get out, anticipate the traffic ahead of and around you, and be aware of what other cars could do. Give yourself more room between vehicles, because they don’t stop as quickly in this weather.”

Douglas suggests Columbia drivers leave a winter emergency pack in their cars.

“Make sure it has gloves, a blanket, dry socks, a flashlight, snack bars, water, anything you could use in an emergency.”

A lull in snowfall is expected early this afternoon, but snowfall is expected to increase in intensity early this evening.

Temperatures are expected to remain steady in the upper 20s to low 30s throughout the day.

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