Weather
6:00 am
Tue February 26, 2013

Live blog: Second winter storm hits Columbia

Follow this blog for regular updates on Columbia's second storm in two days.

This winter storm has a lot less snow then last Thursday, but it's also a lot stickier.  That means we're seeing downed power lines, trees and Mediacom internet is down across Columbia. 

These lists show you power outages by county:

If you're driving (which you should really avoid doing...) check this first:

9:07 a.m. (Wednesday) Thousands of Missourians' homes remain the dark this morning. The Boone Electric Cooperative reports about 5,800 members remain without power.

Boone Electric CEO Todd Culley says the main cause for the outages was the heavy snow. He says main challenge restoring the power is getting access to the power lines. Ameren Missouri reports about 1,800 members without power this morning.

Ameren Spokesperson Kent Martin said the company is experiencing similar difficulties.

“Travel to restore the power sometimes hampered by the weather and sometimes our crews are slowed down by the weather as well," Martin said.

The City of Columbia reported Broadway Christian Church in Columbia opened its doors last night to those without power. The mid-Missouri Chapter of the American Red Cross worked with church members to open the shelter overnight.

The Columbia Department of Public Works reports due to the new snow overnight, plows will put residential streets on hold. Crews are returning to plow first and second priority routes. The department says it will return to plowing residential roads as soon as possible.

Columbia Transit reports it will operate on a limited schedule this morning. The 105 Commuter Line will not run for the start of the day – many other routes will run on a limited schedule. More service will be added as possible throughout the day.

10:11 p.m. (Tuesday)  Heavy snow has apparently caused the partial collapse of some buildings in a central Missouri town and led to the closure of a state highway.

The Missouri Department of Transportation said Tuesday night that it has shut down a stretch of Missouri Route 240 in Fayette after debris spilled on it. The department said the second story of a building fell down, and the roof of an adjacent building also collapsed.

The department said the building failures apparently were caused by heavy snow.

No injuries were reported.

4:38 p.m. Columbia public schools are closed tomorrow but MU campus will be open.

3:53 p.m. Mid-Missouri could receive a few more inches of snow tomorrow, according to Ron Przybylinski, a science officer with the National Weather Service in St. Louis:

On the back side of the weather system, we could expect maybe a light snow fall throughout the day tomorrow -- maybe an inch or a couple of inches. And that would include into Cooper County and the Boone County region, and surrounding counties.

Przybylinski says that parts of Cooper, Northern Boone, Audrain and Monroe Counties received upwards  11 inches of snow.

3:38 p.m. Road Update: MoDOT is saying that unlike Thursday's big storm, major roads are actually in pretty decent shape right now and have been since about 1pm.  They're still a little wet and if it freezes over tonight then it'll be a different story.  But right now major roadways like I-70 and Highway 63 are pretty passable.  

Why did the region do so much better this time? "This snow came in a little bit more gradually, so that helped us" said Sally Oxenhandler, MoDOT's spokesperson told Asst. News Director Ryan Famuliner.  

She also pointed to the fact that most people were smart enough to stay home and off of the roads: "We did encourage motorists not to travel if they didn't have to, and I really do think people heeded that message and stayed put if they could.  And that definitely helped us to get out and about and we were able to do our work a lot easier."

3:24 p.m. According to their website, Columbia Public Schools are closed all day tomorrow.

3:01 p.m. Reporter Andrew Nichols talked to Columbia residents who braved the snow and went outside.  Aimee Appel works at Geisha Sushi Bar downtown and had to walk through the snow to her shift.  "It's wet and cold and white and terrible,"  she said. "Just put me on a beach."

Aimee Appel stands on College Avenue.
Credit Andrew Nichols / KBIA

Calvin Maginel, a graduate student at MU, decided to walk to campus this morning to work on homework with a friend.  He said his walk was “moist,” but overall enjoyable.

“I like being out in the snow,” Maginel told our reporter. “It’s kind of exciting and energizing.”

Ryan Maginel stands on Brodway Street
Credit Andrew Nichols / KBIA

Dennis Young, who works at Xtreme Lawn Care, contributed to the plowing effort.  He used his truck’s snow plow to clear roads around Columbia’s Courtyard hotel, and then plowed for businesses downtown.  While it took hours of work, he said the city’s streets were beginning to clear up.

“[The roads] were bad last night, but they’re pretty good now,” Young said.  “All the side roads are a mess, but the main roads are pretty good.” 

Dennis Young fills his truck with gasoline on Providence Road
Credit Andrew Nichols / KBIA

3:00 p.m.  We have to admit: it's a pretty good snowman.

2:45 p.m. According to the Missourian, internet coverage for Columbia and Jefferson city went out last night because of a damaged fiber optic cable in Camdenton.  Crews are working on repairing the cable and they say it will be up by 3pm.  

Internet providers often share fiber optic cables with other companies or lease them from cities.  This cable was shared with a "partner company," says the Missourian.  It's possible that Mediacom does not outright own the cable, which would complicate repairs and cause further delays.  

1:32 p.m. Boone County Electric utility now has over 12,000 power outages.  It represents the vast majority of outages in the state. 

1:09 p.m. With CPS schools out for the day, kids are passing their time in the snow.  Reporter Heather Adams ran into Gunnar and Corbin Durk downtown.  

Gunnar and Corbin Durk shovel snow...for fun
Credit Heather Adams / KBIA

Without school to go to, the Corbin children went to work with their dad who is a construction worker downtown.  "Well my dad asked me to just shovel this little area because he works here," Gunnar told Adams. "And then I just started playing around pushing the snow out here just for fun."

12:48 p.m. Our very own Kristofor Husted took this awesome time-lapse video from the window of our newsroom:

Sunrise time lapse at MU during winter storm from KBIA FM on Vimeo.

12:43 p.m With Mediacom internet out of commission, people are crowding into coffee shops and enjoying the free WiFi.

Lakota coffee shop on 9th
Credit Erica VandenHouten / KBIA

Ross Dellenger counted 22 laptops at 15 tables at Uprise Bakery on Hitt Street.

12:22 p.m. Boone electric outages are going up and up due to downed power lines.  The utility says some of these houses need to prepare for the long haul: 

12:07 p.m. We were originally told that Mediacom internet would be restored to Columbia by noon today.  It seems that Mediacom overestimated quite a bit.  They now say that it's anywhere between 8 hours and several days.  They know a line was cut but they're not sure which one.  If it was their own fiber cable, they say it'll take about 8 hours.  If it's someone else's, it could take days.  

11:43 a.m. A driver travels in the center lane to avoid the snowbanks piling up on the side: 

Credit Laishi Zhou / KBIA

11:36 a.m. Check out this sweet time lapse video the KC Star posted.

11:34 a.m. Scott Olsen Fire Chief of the Boone County Fire Protection District says since midnight, they've received 29 calls related to downed power lines and 6 calls about fires.  They're so busy with the power lines they're not responding to the calls about fires at this time.  

11:29 a.m. A Columbian waits for her internet to be restored.  A dog helps.

11:23 a.m. About half the flights leaving Kansas City are canceled.  Earlier today most flights were canceled till 1pm.  Now it's pushed back till about 4pm.

11:15 a.m. The University says that they're not ready to make a decision on closures yet, but will make an announcement later today.

11:00 a.m. Thankfully, the fact that so many things are closed today seems to be keeping the streets clear.  The intersection of College Ave. and Broadway was quiet at about 9:45 this morning:

The intersection of College Ave. and Broadway at about 9:45 a.m.
Credit KBIA

10:59 a.m. Major roads are getting plowed on the quick: 

10:53 a.m. More than 300 new outages at Boone Electric.  We thought things were getting better for Boone County customers, but these numbers are higher.

10:50 a.m. Our reporters confirmed that Mediacom internet should be restored to the city of Columbia by noon today.  The internet has been out since about 11pm last night due to a cut fiber cable.  It's not yet clear what cut the fiber.

10:43 a.m.: A few accidents have been cleared up, allowing traffic to pass.  

  • An accident on Rte 54 Eastbound at Quail Rd. in Cole County has been cleared.
  • A crash on I-70 at mile marker 133 has been cleared. 

10:25 a.m.: We're seeing more power outages for customers of Ameren Electric.  In cooper county there are 1518 Ameren outages and there's 2420 in Morgan County.  That's slightly up from earlier this morning.  The situation is clearing a little for customers of Boone Electric but there's still 6000 outages for those customers.

9:55 a.m.: Live in Columbia? Need to report a downed power line? Do this:

9:52 a.m: Thomas Jefferson appears to be writing a very snowy version of the Declaration of Independence.

Credit Andrew Nichols / KBIA

9:49 a.m.: Here's another photo from KBIA's Andrew Nichols -- Mizzou's iconic columns are covered in snow.

Credit Andrew Nichols / KBIA

9:42 a.m.: From MoDOT Customer Relations Manager Sally Oxenhandler:

Route 54 eastbound and westbound at Quail Road in Cole County (between Jefferson City and Route 17) is closed due to downed power lines.  Crews are on the scene.  Estimated closure is four hours.

9:40 a.m.: According to a press release KBIA received from the City of Columbia and Boone County, most of the power outages in the area are being caused by downed tree limbs and branches. Columbia Public Works is plowing major roadways at this time within the city, and Boone County Public Works is plowing county roads.

9:37 a.m.: KBIA's Andrew Nichols reports snow removal crews are working on the University of Missouri campus to clean up.

Credit Andrew Nichols / K

9:32 a.m.: KBIA program director Kyle Felling sends us this photo of a downed tree in Columbia:

9:27 a.m.: All American Airlines flights in and out of Columbia Regional Airport today are canceled. Frontier's flight to Orlando is still scheduled at this time.

9:24 a.m.: Boone Electric's outages keep increasing -- the utility now reports 6,137 members without power.

9:22 a.m.: MoDOT reports the rest area on I-70 eastbound near Boonville is closed due to a downed power line.

9:09 a.m.: More power outages from Boone Electric ... the coop reports 5,897 outages.

9:03 a.m.: According to Jefferson City spokesperson Michelle Gleba, "The Jefferson City main bus routes only are running. Handi-Wheels service is not in operation. Due to limited parking downtown, the city is offering free parking in the parking garage."

8:58 a.m.: Boone Electric reports 4,839 of its members are without power.

8:50 a.m.: Here's another photo from KBIA's Rehman Tungekar -- roads in downtown Columbia are being plowed:

Downtown Columbia, around 8:40 a.m.
Credit Rehman Tungekar / KBIA

8:47 a.m.: How do you think Mid-Missouri is handling this second round of winter weather? Tell us, and we might include your comment in our newscasts -- tweet us @KBIA.

8:38 a.m.: KBIA's Rehman Tungekar sends us this photo of Broadway in Columbia:

Broadway in Columbia
Credit Rehman Tungekar / KBIA

8:35 a.m.: Columbia Water and Light says 1,500 customers were without power as of 8:00 a.m., according to a press release received by KBIA.

8:33 a.m.: MoDOT reports a crash on I-70 westbound at mile marker 133; one lane is blocked.

8:25 a.m.: Program alert: KBIA will air Morning Edition until 11:00 a.m. CST, with continuing updates on this winter storm.

8:22 a.m.: Boone Electric reports more than 3,000 houses it services are without power.

8:16 a.m.: MediaCom says its services in Columbia and Jefferson City are currently out.

8:09 a.m.: The Columbia Regional Airport reports all flights scheduled today remain on time.

8:03 a.m.: KBIA's Olga Khrustaleva sent in this photo of Ragtag Cinema from this morning:

Ragtag Cinema on Hitt Street, around 6:00 a.m.
Credit Olga Khrustaleva / KBIA

8:00 a.m.: Ameren Missouri reports 1,000 customers without power in Cooper County and 2,130 customers without power in Morgan County -- that's roughly 30 percent of customers the utility servies in Morgan County. Meanwhile, Boone Electric reports 3,180 customers without power.

7:58 a.m.: Our colleagues at Harvest Public Media in Kansas City seem to be snowed in.

7:55 a.m.: KRCG reports the canopy overtop a Break Time gas station on Paris Road in Columbia has collapsed:

7:54 a.m.: Columbia Public Works has issued the following statement:

Forecast - still on track to receive a total of 6-10 inches before snow tapers to flurries between 2-4 PM today.

Heavy wet snow is causing tree limbs and power lines to sag over roadways. Some reports of lines down across roadways and reports of tress and tree limbs down in roadways.

Crews are currently plowing on 1st and 2nd priority routes and will do so until safe and passable.

As there has been over 4 inches of snow, we will begin plowing residential streets after 1st and 2nd priority streets.

Public Works has committed all available resources to plowing and treating roads.

Water and Light crews are assisting with snow removal efforts downtown if not responding to lines down or power outage reports. 

Parks and Rec crews are assisting with plowing roads in the area of the ARC and Stephens Lake.

Additional equipment and personel from various city departments and divisions have been pressed into service to get roads cleared as soon as possible.

We will issue a release when we have 1st and 2nd priority roads safe and passable and move into residential areas.

Thank you to everyone who have stayed off of roadways this morning. That has greatly assisted road crews, utility crews, and emergency services respond during this storm.

7:50 a.m.: Here's a shot from a MoDOT camera taken a few minutes ago of I-70 and U.S. Highway 63. Looks pretty deserted.

I-70 at U.S. Highway 63
Credit MoDOT

7:45 a.m.: Our apologies -- MoDOT's transit map does not show Route A has been cleared.

7:41 a.m.: What does it look like where you are? Tweet your photos to @KBIA, but at no time should you endanger yourself or others in doing so.

7:35 a.m.: In case you missed it, Columbia Transit is suspended today:

7:28 a.m.: As of now, Boone Electric reporting roughly 2,700 customers without power, an increase from earlier this morning.

7:21 a.m.: MoDOT reports the downed power line on Route A has been cleared.

7:11 a.m.: KBIA's Ryan Famuliner spoke with MoDOT, which confirmed the accident at I-70 and Stadium Blvd. / mile marker 123 has been cleared:

7:05 a.m.: Flight updates -- American Airlines flight 3396 from Dallas-Fort Worth to Columbia is canceled. Many, many flights out of Kansas City have been canceled this morning, but only a few out of St. Louis have been.

7:01 a.m.: More reports of power outages on West Blvd.:

6:58 a.m.: Hearing reports that parts of West Blvd. in Columbia are without power:

6:55 a.m.: MoDOT reports Route A in Boone County is closed near Old State Highway A and Arnold Lane due to a low-hanging power line.

6:53 a.m.: We've received an update regarding the University of Missouri Health Care system:

Just a reminder that the following University of Missouri Health Care facilities will be closed today: All outpatient clinics, including Urgent Care, University Physicians-Green Meadows Pharmacy, University Physicians-Fairview Pharmacy, University Physicians-Smiley Lane Pharmacy, Ellis Fischel Cancer Center Outpatient Pharmacy, University Physicians Medical Building Pharmacy and Mizzou Pharmacy. All University of Missouri Health Care hospitals and emergency rooms will remain open. Open with limited hours today are University Hospital Pharmacy (8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.), the Missouri Orthopaedic Institute Pharmacy (8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and Keene Street Pharmacy (8 a.m. to 6 p.m.).

6:51 a.m.: The Missouri River Regional Library system is closed today as well.

6:50 a.m.: The Daniel Boone Regional Library system is closed today.

6:44 a.m.: Here's the latest National Weather Service forecast regarding snowfall in the region:

Credit National Weather Service

6:41 a.m.: Columbia Water and Light reports sporadic outages in the city.

6:33 a.m.: Have you seen snow this morning? Tweet your photos to @KBIA, but at no time should you endanger yourself or others in doing so.

6:30 a.m.: MoDOT reports trouble on the roadways this morning:

  • Most roadways in the area are covered with snow.
  • I-70 eastbound at mile marker 123 is closed due to an accident.
  • The left lane of U.S. Highway 63 north in Callaway County is closed at Cedar Creek due to an accident.
  • A power line is down on Missouri Route 87 in Cooper County, blocking traffic near Bingham Road.

6:24 a.m.: Trash and recycling services in Jefferson City have been canceled today. Today's routes will be collected tomorrow.

6:20 a.m.: As we announced yesterday, both Columbia Public Schools and the University of Missouri are closed. Other schools closed today include Westminster College in Fulton, Stephens College in Columbia and Jefferson City Public Schools. Our partners at KOMU have a full list of school closures in the area, as well as other local services that aren't operating today because of the storm.

6:08 a.m.: Ameren Missouri reports 12 percent of its power customers in Cooper County are without electricity this morning. Like Boone Electric, the utility has a list of current power outages.

6:05 a.m.: Boone Electric is reporting roughly 1,600 power outages throughout the region; the coop has a map of the outages that updates throughout the morning.

6:00 a.m.: Good morning! Looks like the region got hit with some more snow last night/earlier this morning. Here's what it looks like from our newsroom.