By JIM SALTER
(ST. LOUIS, Mo., AP) – The biggest winter storm in Missouri in two years has ended, but the problems it caused are lingering in some areas.
The storm on Thursday dumped more than a foot of snow in some areas of northern and western Missouri, and Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency.
The National Weather Service reported that Hannibal in northeast Missouri got 13½ inches of snow, parts of Kansas City saw 12 inches and Columbia got 10 inches. The St. Louis area received about 5 inches of snow, but it was mixed with freezing rain and sleet that made driving virtually impossible during Thursday evening’s rush hour.
By midday Friday, though, major roads throughout most of the state were mostly clear. Interstates and major highways were still partly snow-covered around Kansas City and in northwest Missouri.
Beth Wright of the Missouri Department of Transportation said above-freezing temperatures were helping and crews were expected to clear away most of the remaining snow by nightfall.
Capt. Tim Hull of the Missouri State Highway Patrol said accidents on Thursday were too numerous to count, but there were no reported fatalities.
“The calls we took ranged from slide-offs to minor crashes,” Hull said. “We had several instances of stalled vehicles and jack-knifed tractor-trailers,” which caused numerous temporary road closures.
Hull said there was concern about refreezing overnight as cleared snow seeps back onto roadways. He urged extra caution against “black ice” on bridges, overpasses and curves.
The University of Missouri cancelled classes for a second straight day. St. Louis and Kansas City airports reported numerous flight cancellations and delays.
The weather forced cancellation of several Kansas City-area blood drives, leaving the Community Blood Center of Greater Kansas City with less than a day’s supply, spokesman Stann Tate said. Generally, the center prefers to have a supply of about five days.