Winter weather cancels events, mars roads

The threat of wintry precipitation caused many events to be cancelled this weekend, including the Christmas parades in Holts Summit, Russellville and Linn, and the first night of Capital City Christian Church’s Journey to Bethlehem in Jefferson City.

But with a kind reprieve from Jack Frost and the hard work of round-the-clock road crews, most roadways were ready for travelers by mid-morning Saturday.

Long-awaited events like the local law enforcement agencies’ Operation T.O.Y.S. (Take Our Youth Shopping) continued as planned.

Most of Mid-Missouri received the lowest end of the 3-5 inches predictions. However, a heavier snowfall was seen from Linn to the northwest St. Louis metro area, said Scott Truett, senior forecaster with the National Weather Service.

The lower temperatures are beyond the norm for this time of year, but the amount of snow isn’t, Truett said.

Unfortunately, several fatalities resulted during the storm, though none in Cole County.

“Yesterday was a horrible day,” Sgt. Randy Werner with the Jefferson City Police Department said Saturday.

Inside the city, the police responded only to minor accidents because of ice, he said.

The sheriff’s department responded to mostly slide-offs on weather-related calls, said Capt. John Wheeler.

The plans and experience from past winters has played a part in being prepared for many agencies.

The Cole County Public Works went through a lot of ice-melting materials, said Director Larry Benz.

“We’re ready for the next one,” he said.

Drivers are encouraged to plan their outings based on weather forecasts.

“There’s a learning curve every time it snows,” Werner said. “Some people don’t realize when it is really slick out there.”

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