photo: Josie Harpole
By Tray Wetherell
With freezing rain, sleet, ice and snow falling during the day, the St. Louis area came to a standstill on Tuesday. In the first blizzard warning issued in over a decade by the national weather service, over a thousand schools and daycare centers closed as well as businesses after realizing just how difficult this storm was going to be. In St. Louis, an unprecedented coordinated effort was underway between the city and county of St. Louis to address the storm and any emergencies that may develop over the day. National Guard troops in both Missouri and Illinois were mobilized to help assist police and emergency services in case roads became impassable.
By late afternoon, the heaviest precipitation started to unwind bringing a break in the weather before the same weather system will be whipping around high winds and more snow overnight. Northern counties got mostly snow and sleet, while southern counties got freezing rain, ice, and sleet. Estimates vary between as much as 20 inches of snow northwest of St. Louis to over 1 inch of ice south and west of St. Louis. Downtown St. Louis reported 3 inches of sleet on top of a quarter inch of ice that fell in the morning.
Families that wanted to enjoy their snow day were greeted with bitter cold weather and precipitation that made most sledding unfavorable. Travel on most interstates and roads was still treacherous as snow plows tried their best but fought a losing battle. With forecasts tomorrow calling for blowing snow, freezing temperatures, and high winds most schools and courts are closed tomorrow. Lewis & Clark Community College as of 5:00 PM had already called off classes for Wednesday, and questions remain with the weather tomorrow as to Thursdays schedule.
Keep alerted to Lewis & Clark and sign up for the Alert system at www.lc.edu and stay tuned to The Bridge for photos and more news on the storm.
We are also looking for pictures from our readers! Got great pictures of the blizzard of 2011? Send them to us, we will post them for the school.
UPDATE: interstate 70 from Kansas City to Wentzville MO closed.