It might have seemed like two ice storms hit Missouri last week, but it actually was one very big storm that slowly moved through the Midwest, hitting the state a couple of times, knocking out power to tens of thousands of homes.
This winter storm didn’t treat regions of the state equally. National Weather Service meteorologist Mike Looney in Kansas City says that while a portion of southwest Missouri around the Joplin area got hit hard, central Missouri took a shot and ice coated power lines in portions of northeast Missouri and nearly blanketed northwest Missouri in ice, the Bootheel stayed nice and warm. And Looney says that while it seemed like two separate storms hit Missouri, it actually was a double punch from the same massive ice storm.
It might not help you feel any better, but Looney says that if you think of it as a main storm with smaller storms moving through the main system you get an idea of what did all the damage. Looney says when the storm hit last weekend, the atmosphere held in a locked pattern. The storm first hit Missouri early Sunday morning. That phase of the storm hit the Joplin area hard as well as the Lake of the Ozarks region, Jefferson City and portions of the state around O’Fallon and northeast to Bowling Green. The second phase hit the state early Tuesday morning. It slugged northwest Missouri, especially hitting the St. Joseph and Maryville area, then spread throughout the northern tier of the state.
The storm knocked power out for tens of thousands of Missouri households. The first phase knocked out about 50,000. The second took out another 120,000. Many utilities in the state were affected, including AmerenUE, Aquila, Kansas City Power and Light, Empire Electric and the state’s rural electric cooperatives.