All of the employees of the State Emergency Management Agency are on 24-hour alert because Missouri is hours away from being nailed by a winter storm that the weather service says could be “historic.”

SEMA spokesman John Campbell says the agency’s top priority when Missouri gets hit by a storm like the one is to keep the lights on. That’s likely to be a tall order, given the wide area that is expected to get hit by ice and freezing rain this afternoon and tonight…and then get the biggest snow of the winter tomorrow night.

The weather service is warning of “extreme winter weather” that could provide more than 20 inches of snow in some places….with high winds causing drifting snow and low visibility.

Campbell says almost all of Missouri is going to feel this one, although the bootheel is more likely to get liquid precipitation rather than the ice and heavy snow other areas will get.

Listen to John Campbell discuss SEMA preparations 9:18 mp3