Hello, winter

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Update 10:40 a.m. U.S. 65 is being closed at the split just south of Marshall.
Update 9:40 a.m. Law enforcement scanner traffic reports indicate white-out conditions on U.S. 65 in Saline County.
Update 9:20 a.m. There's a report of an injury traffic accident on U.S. Highway 65 near the intersection with Business 65.

Winter weather arrived a day ahead of the official start of the season.

The solstice occurs Friday, Dec. 21, but snow started falling about 6 a.m. on the west side of the county and quickly spread east.

Forecasters are predicting from one to three inches of snow for Saline County, with high winds adding to treacherous driving conditions.

Roadways are getting very slick, according to traveler reports.

According to police scanner traffic, Marshall Municipal Utilities crews were working at the intersection of Boyd Street and Miami Avenue about 7:40 a.m. to correct a power outage. Marshall police responded to the scene to manage traffic there.

Power was reportedly restored to traffic lights on U.S. 65 by 8:30 a.m.

At 7:50 a.m. there was a report that three vehicles slide off the road on Route WW near the Marshall city limits.

Saline County is not expected to bear the brunt of the season's first big storm.

MoDOT's road condition map at 8:30 a.m. showed both major highways in the county -- Interstate 70 and U.S. Highway 65 -- were snow covered.

The Associated Press reports that on the southern edge of the storm system, high winds wreaked havoc, damaging homes and downing trees across Arkansas.

The storm peeled the roofs off buildings and toppled trucks in Mobile, Ala., but injured no one. Tornado warnings remained in effect in parts of Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama early Thursday, according to the AP.

The storm dropped nearly a foot of snow in Des Moines, but the storm wasn't as dangerous as earlier feared because everyone had good warning of the approaching havoc, said Kevin Skow, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Des Moines. But wind might become a concern, he warned.

Contact Eric Crump at ecrump@marshallnews.com

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