Officials: Stay home! (Update: 10:50 a.m.)
Update 10:50 a.m. — Marshall Police Chief Mike Donnell is urging motorists to stay off city streets even after main routes appear passable. He said several motorists have ventured forth and gotten stuck on side streets. There remains danger from downed power lines, too.
"I know the streets look like they are clear, but they are just getting stuck," he said. "Give (street crews) a chance to get the rest of them done."
MoDOT issued a "no travel" advisory Monday, Feb. 25, and it appears most people are heeding that suggestion.
"We have issued a 'no travel' advisory for the duration of this storm because the strong winds and heavy snowfall could make it very difficult to see," said Elizabeth Wright, MoDOT state maintenance engineer in a news release. "If possible, we recommend motorists stay put or find a safe spot to wait out the storm instead of trying to drive."
There was little vehicle or pedestrian traffic in Marshall early Tuesday morning, Feb. 26, as emergency crews battle the effects of a storm that has already dropped 6 inches of wet snow on the area and is still going.
There are reports of power outages throughout Marshall, and Marshall Municipal Utilities are out in force addressing problems.
The main culprit so far has been tree branches, sagging or snapping from the weight of the snow, hitting power lines.
Marshall Fire Department crews also responded to several reports of power line problems.
Marshall City Administrator Connie Latimer said sagging trees and power lines are hampering snow removal from streets, but she said crews would work as fast as they can. She also noted that trash service in Marshall is suspended until conditions improve.
Marshall Municipal Services Director Bill Anderson said crews were still out moving snow as fast as they can. As soon as utility crews clear downed lines, plow drivers push tree limbs aside and keep going, he said.
Staying home was easier for many people because area administrators took seriously the dire warnings issued by meteorologists about the storm's dangerous potential. All schools in the county are closed, many businesses are closed and most community activities and events have been canceled or postponed.
Compared to last week's storm, there were few reports of stranded motorists, according to emergency radio traffic, indicating many people were staying off the roads.
Anderson said his crews have seen a big improvement over last week, when snow removal was hampered by numerous stalled vehicles.
"I've got to give people credit for being prepared," he said.
The situation was improved, too, with the help of Marshall police, who had three stranded vehicles towed from snow routes Monday in preparation for the coming storm, according to Marshall Police Chief Mike Donnell.
As of about 10:30 a.m. Marshall had received 8 inches of snow, with several more inches expected, according to the forecast.
Contact Eric Crump at email@example.com