Big snow blan­kets Mis­souri, heads east

USA TODAY Weekend Extra - - NEWS - Doug Stan­glin

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.

DON CAMP­BELL/AP

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.

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