Jefferson City, MO 79° View Live Radar Sat H 84° L 69° Sun H 84° L 69° Mon H 85° L 72° Weather Sponsored By:

Snow socks Capital City

Snow socks Capital City

Treacherous roads yield 60-70 accidents

February 16th, 2019 by Jeff Haldiman in Local News

Two students zoom through downtown along McCarty Street on a bicycle as heavy snow falls during the day Friday. A winter weather advisory for Cole County was in effect with 1-3 inches expected.

Photo by Mark Wilson /News Tribune.

Friday's snowstorm hit the forecasts for when and how much snow would be produced. But its pace stymied efforts to keep roads drivable, producing more than 60 accidents by the end of the afternoon.

Road crews had been out since early Friday morning to pre-treat roads; the snow began falling around 10:30 a.m. in the area.

As the snow picked up in intensity, schools and other entities, including Lincoln University, Jefferson City Hall and many stores at Capital Mall, began closing.

This was also the time law enforcement and emergency services personnel began to be dispatched to numerous calls of accidents. Officials with the Jefferson City Police Department estimated they worked 60-70 accidents by 4 p.m. Most were non-injury or involved minor injuries; they also said most were slide-offs.

Jefferson City Public Schools reported at about 1:45 p.m. "a minor fender bender between two buses" occurred near East McCarty Street. There were no injuries; students were put onto new buses and taken to their homes.

Westbound U.S. 54 was closed for several hours after a mid-day accident involving numerous vehicles occurred about two miles south of Eugene. Officials with the Miller County and Cole County sheriff's offices who were at the scene reported traffic was going too fast on 54. When those cars encountered slower traffic, they couldn't stop and that led to the pileup.

Authorities also reported Missouri 17 between Mary's Home and Tuscumbia had multiple accidents; it was due to drivers traveling too fast for the weather conditions.

Road crews expected another long day of being out on the roads. But at times, the snow came down faster than expected, so it made it difficult to get to some locations.

"We had that happen to us on Tanner Bridge Road," Cole County Public Works Director Larry Benz said. "It was a dry snow, but with it being as cold as it was it, if you don't get enough material on it, the road freezes and accidents happen before we could get out as fast as we would have liked."

Five weeks ago, another snow storm hit on a Friday. Jefferson City Public Works Director Matt Morasch said that storm cost the city about $180,000 in chemicals, equipment and man hours.

"We spend considerable funds on salt and calcium chloride, as well as overtime because our crews are out from when the storm starts to when bare pavement is achieved," Morasch said.

The National Weather Service in St. Louis said the majority of Mid-Missouri got 1-3 inches of snow, with areas south of Jefferson City to the Lake of the Ozarks getting as much as 3 or more inches by the time the snow stopped late Friday night.

Authorities and road crews are getting ready for more wintry like precipitation, which the National Weather Service believes will hit Saturday night and continue on and off through Sunday morning. It will bring a mix of some snow and freezing drizzle, the weather service said. Another round of snow was forecast for Tuesday night, but how much would be falling was yet to be determined.

"Hopefully that's the last round this winter from Mother Nature," Benz said.