Freezing rain hits SW Missouri, closing schools, slowing travel

Monday, February 11, 2008

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) -- Freezing rain hit southwest Missouri early Monday, closing schools and prompting the Missouri State Highway Patrol to urge people to stay off the roads.

The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for much of southern and central Missouri on Monday morning. Up an inch of ice was expected across much of southern and central Missouri as the freezing rain spread eastward from the Kansas line.

"Some of it is freezing rain, some is ice pellets, some is sleet," said Bill Davis, chief meteorologist for the NWS in Springfield. More rain later Monday could add another glaze because temperatures were expected to remain at about freezing, he said.

The highway patrol reported numerous cars sliding off roads and some injury accidents.

"It's treacherous. If you can stay home this morning, do it," said Sgt. Dan Bracker of the Highway Patrol in Springfield.

The state Department of Transportation said conditions could get worse despite salt trucks that are working main highways and other roads. Bob Edwards from the transportation department's Springfield office, said drivers should expect all roads, including major highways, to be at least partly iced or slushy.

The winter storm warning was in effect until about midnight, the weather service said. Freezing ran, sleet and a chance of thunderstorms were predicted, with accumulations up to 1 inch.

More sleet and freezing ran were expected Monday evening, with a chance of snow after midnight, the weather service said.

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