(Kristin Eberts) [Order this photo]
Police responded to 45 motor vehicle accidents by 4 p.m., with more than 30 of them taking place before noon, said Cape Girardeau Police Department spokesman Darin Hickey. Another 14 accidents were reported on Interstate 55, which included single vehicles that veered off into the ditch, he said.
Snow also contributed to a multicar crash on Interstate 55 near Benton, Mo., Thursday morning.
The first accident was at 6:55 a.m. By 9 a.m., 44 vehicles were involved in 29 accidents, including a six-car incident along Mount Auburn Road.
A dispatcher with the Cape Girardeau County Sheriff's Department said things were quiet on county roads, with only two calls for slide-offs by midmorning. In Jackson, Lt. Chris Mouser with the Jackson Police Department said there were only two reports of accidents there, neither resulting in injuries.
"We've been fairly lucky," Mouser said. "Knock on wood."
A 62-year-old Advance, Mo., woman, Betty Bollinger, was injured on Highway 91 near Morley, Mo., when her car slid off the road just after 9 a.m. A two-car accident on Highway 177, near U.S. 61, injured Troy Cowell, 44, of Sedgewickville, Mo., when his car was struck head-on by another motorist. The Missouri State Highway Patrol didn't list weather or bad roads as a cause of the accident.
A smattering of accidents occurred throughout the afternoon, with dropping temperatures leaving city officials worried about the possibility of icy streets today.
Cape Girardeau Public Works director Tim Gramling said the last city crews were expected in by 7 p.m. or so Thursday and that all city roads had been plowed.
"The worry is, if we didn't get it melted soon enough, it may not dry out and it may freeze," Gramling said. "That could create problems."
Interstate 55 was also a trouble spot for motorists, especially in the evening, as conditions deteriorated. Hickey said there were several accidents along I-55. He encouraged drivers Friday to slow down and to leave plenty of space between vehicles.
Southeast Missouri generally received from 2 to 3 inches of snow through early Thursday afternoon, with some places seeing a bit more than that, said David Blanchard, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Paducah, Ky.
Light snow fell for much of Thursday afternoon, though it was mainly flurries. Snow could resume tonight or Saturday morning, Blanchard said, but added that he expected it to be light.
"It may not even measure," he said. "It could be just flurries, where you see flakes in the air but it doesn't even accumulate."
Expect temperatures this morning to be about 11 degrees, with wind chills making it feel about 3 degrees, he said.
The next measurable snow event, Blanchard said, will likely take place Sunday night, when he says there will be less than an inch.
(AP Photo/St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Emily Rasinski)
"I can't say for sure, but this present event appears to be the most snow you're going to get," Blanchard said.
The snow caused schools to close and organizations to cancel meetings around Southeast Missouri.
The snowstorm also forced the closure of Southeast Missouri State University regional campuses in Sikeston and Poplar Bluff, Mo. The Perryville Higher Education Center, too, was closed.
Snowfall amounts varied greatly throughout the state, from little more than a trace in parts of southern Missouri to huge amounts in mid-Missouri and parts of the St. Louis area. Snowfall totals of nearly 11 inches were reported in north St. Louis County.
The Missouri Department of Transportation's road conditions map showed that most major roadways in the southeast part of the state up to St. Louis were covered or partly covered in snow at 2 p.m. Interstate 55 was party covered from almost to the state's southern border to St. Louis.