Update: I-55 reported clear, other state highways partially clear

Wednesday, December 26, 2012 ~ Updated 4:44 PM
Shane Pridmore clears snow in the 600 block of Broadway Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012 in Cape Girardeau. (Fred Lynch)

Update 4:45 p.m.

Interstate 55 is clear from St. Louis to the Arkansas border, according to the Missouri Department of Transportation's traveler information map. But virtually all secondary roads -- highways 25, 34, 72, 74 and others -- remained partially covered with snow and slush. To view the map go to http://maps.modot.mo.gov/timi.

Update 2:30 p.m.

Cape Girardeau's official snow accumulation reading was 4 inches at the Cape Girardeau Regional Airport, according to the National Weather Service. Snow totals varied greatly locally, with some in Cape Girardeau reporting about 6 inches of accumulation.

Update 12:30 p.m.

Most major state highways in Southeast Missouri were still at least partially covered just after noon, according to the Missouri Department of Transportation's traveler information map.

According to the map Interstate 55 is covered or partly covered from the northern border of Cape Girardeau County south, and clear north of that. Other state roads like highways 25, 34, 74 and 72 remained at least partially covered.

Update 11:30 a.m.

Illinois seems to have been hit harder by the winter storm than Southeast Missouri, according to preliminary numbers reported to the National Weather Service.

The high total was from Mount Carmel, Ill., where a trained spotter reported 13 inches of snowfall. Mound City in Pulaski County, Ill., reported 8 inches.

Missouri experienced anywhere from a few inches to the about 6 inches reported in the Cape Girardeau area to 12 inches reported at Dudley, Mo., in Stoddard County.

Update 10:45 a.m.

The Cape Girardeau city government says trash and recycling pickup scheduled for today will still happen, but the snow has caused it to be delayed. Those who normally have pickup on Tuesday were scheduled for Wednesday pickup due to the Christmas holiday.

Update 10:35 a.m.

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (AP) -- The National Weather Service in Paducah, Ky., says snowfall in Missouri through Wednesday morning ranged from 3 1/2 inches to 9 1/2 inches, with the heaviest accumulations in the Sikeston area.

A meteorologist in Springfield says the storm slid farther south than initially anticipated and spared most of the Ozarks from significant snowfall.

Ameren Missouri was reporting about 2,600 customers without electricity as of mid-morning.

Update 10 a.m.

Ameren Missouri reports 371 customers without power in Cape Girardeau County, and said that those without power should have electricity restored by the end of the day.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol reports no injury or fatality accidents in Troop E. Spokesman Clark Parrott said the lack of injury accidents indicates drivers listened to warnings to stay off the road or, if they had to travel, to do so carefully.

A pedestrian tries to block blowing snow along Broadway Wednesday morning in downtown Cape Girardeau. (Adam Vogler)

The Missouri Department of Transportation reports one lane is cleared on interstates 55 and 57 and on U.S. 60. Those roads should be totally cleared, along with secondary routes, by nightfall.

9:47 a.m.

Other local government office closings today include the Scott County Courthouse, Marble Hill City Hall and Bollinger County Courthouse.

8:55 a.m.

The National Weather Service has canceled the blizzard warning for Southeast Missouri that was originally set to expire at noon, saying precipitation has ended except for patchy light snow.

The temperature had dropped below freezing in Cape Girardeau.

The Ameren Missouri website said 369 customers in the Cape Girardeau area were without power as of 8:50 a.m.

8:20 a.m.

The Cape Girardeau city government said all city offices are closed, not just city hall.

Update 7:15 a.m.

Cape Girardeau city first responders said they've had no report of accidents, just before 7 a.m., but two cars were observed off the road while fire crews were returning to the station from Nash Road.

An area of North Kingshighway had been without power, including the Fountainbleau Lodge nursing home. Power is expected to be restored this morning.

Cars are sliding on slick roads, and officials advise drivers to travel slowly. City spokeswoman Nicolette Brennan warned that as traffic increases this morning, snow plows will be slowed in their work due to more cars on the road.

Update: 6:45 a.m.

The Cape Girardeau County Commission decided to close all county offices Wednesday, including court proceedings. Offices are set to reopen on Thursday at normal time.

6 a.m. Wednesday

Before 4 a.m. came around, 6 inches of snow accumulation was reported at Cape Girardeau to the National Weather Service.

It's just one of dozens of reports pouring in from around the region as a strong winter storm that spurred blizzard warnings blankets the area in snow, accompanied by howling winds.

Near Dudley in Stoddard County, about a foot of snow had fallen, according to reports to the National Weather Service.

Roads everywhere were covered in snow and some ice beneath, as the first snow melted thanks to above-freezing temperatures when the snow started Tuesday night. Authorities have advised travelers to stay at home, as driving conditions are hazardous everywhere.

High winds continued to howl, gusting at more than 40 mph, causing major visibility problems. Snowfall continued at about 6 a.m., and a blizzard warning remained in effect until noon Wednesday.

The city of Cape Girardeau announced it was delaying the opening of City Hall until 10 a.m. The Scott County government delayed opening until noon or later.

Ameren Missouri's website reported about 400 customers in the Cape Girardeau area without power.

Look for updates later at www.semissourian.com and Thursday's Southeast Missourian.

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