KANSAS CITY (AP) — Another winter blast hit Missouri on Friday, causing more than 100 accidents, closing schools and leaving highway experts to warn motorists to avoid travel unless absolutely necessary.
Several sections of Interstate 70 between Kansas City and Columbia were particularly treacherous. The Missouri State Highway Patrol said on Twitter one person died in a crash involving at least 15 vehicles near Oak Grove, 27 miles east of Kansas City. The patrol did not immediately provide further information on the wreck.
Several tractor-trailers were involved in a crash on I-70 near Concordia. I-70 was closed at Columbia because of several crashes.
A wreck on U.S. 54 in Central Missouri involved about 50 vehicles, the patrol said. Not all of the cars were part of the accident — some slid off the road avoiding it, patrol Capt. John Hotz said.
All told, the patrol counted 125 accidents with 19 injuries and one fatality by Friday afternoon. Officers also responded to 166 stranded motorists.
“I just think the snow hit really quickly,” Hotz said. “A lot of snow all at once.”
The National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory Friday for all but the extreme northeast corner of Missouri. Several schools closed early, including the University of Missouri’s Columbia campus.
The slippery snow was the latest storm to hit Missouri this winter. The Missouri Department of Transportation’s traveler map showed most major roadways in western and central Missouri covered.
In St. Louis, several cars slid off roads after the snow began falling around noon, even though MoDOT crews had spent Thursday pre-treating the roads.
Snow accumulations are expected to vary across the state. Kansas City could get up to 6 inches. The St. Louis area is expected to get 1-3 inches of snow, but the arrival just before evening rush hour created concern of a repeat of a similarly timed January storm that left some motorists stranded for several hours.