Big snow blankets Missouri, heads east
A bitter winter storm that dumped more than 10 inches of snow on St. Louis spread eastward across the country Saturday, threatening heavy snow in Kentucky, the Appalachians and Washington, D.C.
St. Louis recorded 10.1 inches, forcing the closure of sections of Interstates 44, 64 and 70 around the city. More than 11,000 customers were without power in Missouri as the heavy snow snapped branches and downed power lines.
Parts of central Missouri, around Harrisburg, reported up to 17 inches of snow.
Columbia, Missouri, was buried under 13 inches of snow, more than doubling a 109-year-old record for snowfall, with more expected.
Authorities in Kansas and Missouri reported at least five killed in crashes as the storm swept across the Midwest.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol said that among those killed in crashes were a woman and her 14-year-old stepdaughter whose car slid into the path of a semitrailer on Friday in Clinton, about 80 miles southeast of Kansas City. Another woman died when her car slid on U.S. 24 in northern Missouri and was hit by an oncoming SUV.
In Kansas, the Highway Patrol said a 62-year-old man died after his pickup truck skidded on the Kansas Turnpike and hit a concrete barrier. The patrol said another crash involving two semitrailers in snowy conditions killed a 41-year-old driver from Mexico.
Bob Becker, district maintenance engineer with the Missouri Department of Transportation, told would-be travelers Saturday morning: “If you can stay home, you probably should.”
He said some motorists were stranded by the ice and snow for up to nine hours on Interstate 44 late Friday.
“I’m sorry they got stuck and we wish it wouldn’t have happened,” he said. “St. Louis unfortunately was the bull’s-eye of this storm.”
The storm, which was expected to stretch 1,500 miles before it moves out to sea, was anchored in Denver, which saw up to 5 inches of snow in some areas. Antero Junction, Colorado, southwest of the city, recorded 14 inches. Parts of northern New Mexico were also hit by heavy snows, with 12 inches recorded near Talpa, New Mexico.
Layers of ice coat a bench at Lions Park on Friday as the sun peeks through clouds along the shores of Lake Michigan in St. Joseph, Mich.