Predicted winter weather hits area harder than expected - 4 inches of snow reported/Precipitation scheduled to end Tuesday, followed by mercury plunge to single-digits

Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Bob Halterman juggles a door and a snow scoop Tuesday morning, Feb. 13, as a postal worker comes to his aid. Halterman is retired and helps out at Casey's General Store on West Arrow in Marshall occasionally, he said. His help was certainly needed Tuesday in clearing the area in front of the door of several inches of snow. Halterman said the snow appeared deeper than forecasts had predicted. He guessed maybe five inches had fallen by 8 a.m.

The predicted winter weather hit the area somewhat harder than expected, dumping four or more inches of snow in Saline County overnight Tuesday, Feb. 13, causing snarled traffic, school closures and event cancellations throughout the county.

As snowfall tapered off about mid-morning the winds picked up, producing occasional low visibility and drifting snow.

Forecasts Monday, Feb. 12, had called for one to three inches of snow following a day of rain.

Travel was difficult by any means Tuesday, Feb. 13, after at least four or five inches of snow fell overnight, but bicycling was perhaps the most challenging of all, as suggested by this bicycle, capsized by the wind and partially buried in drifting snow adjacent to Casey's General Store on West Arrow in Marshall.

The Missouri Department of Transportation Web site indicated road conditions on Interstate 70 were partially snow-covered from Kansas City east past Highway 13 to near the Saline County line and completely snow-covered from there all the way to St. Louis, according to reports from about 7:30 to 9:30 a.m.

U.S. 65 was snow-covered from the Mercer County line south to I-70, including through Saline County, according to a 7:19 a.m. MoDOT report.

I-70 traffic was hampered early Tuesday by jackknifed trucks, according to MoDOT officials.

"Both eastbound lanes of Interstate 70 are closed just west of the Route 65 interchange in Saline County," according to a media advisory sent from the agency just before 7 a.m. "A jackknifed tractor-trailer is causing the closure. Crews are working to remove the vehicle and reopen the interstate as soon as possible."

Eastbound I-70 traffic was being sent to alternate routes. MoDOT advised travelers to avoid eastbound I-70 in the area because long delays are expected.

More snow was possible early Tuesday, with another inch or more of accumulation possible. Winds from the north were expected to gust to as high as 30 miles per hour.

Precipitation is expected to end Tuesday afternoon, but temperatures are predicted to plummet into the single digits overnight.

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