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story.lead_photo.caption Snow plow drivers running constant routes did their best to keep a driving lane open as snow continued to fall over Mid-Missouri on Monday, Feb. 15, 2021. Photo by Julie Smith / News Tribune.

Mid-Missouri saw more snow Monday, with frigid temperatures causing snow removal equipment and other vehicles to break down on the snow-covered roads.

As of 2 p.m. Monday, 3-5 inches of snow had already fallen throughout Central Missouri, said meteorologist Matt Beitscher, of the National Weather Service in St. Louis.

Beitscher said Monday afternoon he expected it to snow another 1-3 inches through 6 p.m. and possibly another couple tenths of an inch from 6-9 p.m.

He expected most of the snow to move northeast, out of Central Missouri, by 9-10 p.m. Monday. The forecast through Monday night called for low temperatures of minus 8 to minus 13 degrees.

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The record low temperature on Feb. 15 in Columbia was minus 15 degrees, set in 1905.

The record lowest maximum temperature in Columbia on this date — which is the lowest maximum temperature that has occurred in a 24-hour period — was 12 degrees, set in 1900. That record was shattered as Columbia saw a high temperature of about minus 1 degree Monday, Beitscher said.

The temperature is expected to be above zero today, but the low is still forecast in the single digits. It should start to move out of the single digits as warmer air starts to move into the area, Beitscher said.

The temperature is expected to be in the low to mid-20s Wednesday, and the wind chill is expected to rise above zero.

However, as of Monday afternoon, there is a chance of 2-3 inches of snow Wednesday.

"Central Missouri is kind of on the fringe of where we're expecting the snow to be," Beitscher said. "That forecast is warranted to change; it's all dependent on the track of this system, and there's still some uncertainty regarding that track."

Jefferson City Operations Division Director Britt Smith said it's been a tough week and a half trying to keep up with the snow.

All the road crews were out Monday and early this morning, with a smaller relief crew working overnight to help with emergency services.

Equipment broke down numerous times Monday due to the cold weather, including snow plows as well as smaller equipment used for parking lots and sidewalks, Smith said.

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Jefferson City central maintenance mechanics were able to fix the equipment, but the breakdowns did cause challenges.

"Luckily, we had repair parts and a great mechanic that was able to get it back on the road, but it does slow us down whenever a truck breaks," Smith said. "That's one truck out of the fleet while it's being worked on."

Osage County road crews also had difficulty starting and keeping snow removal equipment running Monday due to the cold conditions, according to a news release from the Osage County Road and Bridge Department.

It was impossible for road crews to keep up with the snow Monday, Cole County Public Works Director Eric Landwehr said.

"The salt and the chemical we put on the road can't really treat the snow or get it to melt when it gets this cold, so what we're doing is putting down a mix of sand, salt and calcium chloride, and that helps get a little bit of traction at least," Landwehr said.

Crews won't be able to completely clear the roads until temperatures start warming up and sunlight activates the chemicals to melt the snow.

Landwehr doesn't expect the roads to clear up until well into today or Wednesday.

"We've got some pretty dedicated people out there in the plows working pretty hard, long hours and doing the best they can, and it's best if people just stay off the roads," Landwehr said.

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Smith hopes the snow will start melting by midday Tuesday.

"I hope that everybody understands that with these temperatures, it's going to take a little bit longer to get there," he said.

Requitta Sneller, owner of Sneller Mid Mo Auto & Diesel Repair in Mid-Missouri, said the shop saw an influx of customers Monday due to diesel and non-diesel vehicles breaking down. Many vehicles broke down and were towed to the shop because of starting issues and the heat not working.

Ron Berendzen, co-owner of Capital Diesel in Holts Summit, said about 10 people called or came in to the shop Monday because diesel fuel had gelled up and caused their trucks to break down.

State and city offices, as well as the Lincoln University campus, will be closed today due to inclement winter weather and hazardous road conditions. Jefferson City's public bus system, JeffTran, was closed Monday due to the weather and will evaluate road conditions early this morning and post updates to the JeffTran Facebook page. On Monday afternoon, transit officials said they expect to resume operations midday today.

The National Weather Service issued a wind chill warning for portions of central, east-central and northeastern Missouri that remains in effect until noon today, with wind chills as low as minus 25 degrees expected.

The wind chills could result in hypothermia if precautions are not taken, the NWS advised. Frostbite is possible on exposed skin within 30 minutes.

The NWS recommends limiting outdoor activities during the extremely cold temperatures. People who must venture outdoors should wear a hat and gloves, making sure all exposed skin is covered.

Mid-Missouri's Boone, Callaway, Cole, Moniteau and Osage counties are included in the NWS advisory, among other Missouri counties.

The NWS and Missouri Department of Transportation advise staying off the roads if possible and driving slowly and leaving plenty of room in between other vehicles if you must travel.

For updates on road conditions, visit Jefferson City road conditions and MoDOT statewide traveler information map.

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