UPDATE: The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) says westbound I-70 at Concordia has re-opened, after being closed for more than five hours.
BRIAN’S ORIGINAL STORY IS BELOW:
The National Weather Service (NWS) in Springfield is warning travelers that Friday evening’s commute will be difficult across the Ozarks, because roads have deteriorated from snow and ice.
NWS meteorologist Mike Albano in Springfield says Branson, Monett, Neosho and West Plains are seeing ice. Some of those areas have seen almost two-tenths of an inch of ice already.
“For people traveling along and south of the U.S. 60 corridor, we’d suggest avoid any unnecessary travel,” Albano says. “Between a tenth and two-tenths of an inch of ice certainly has its problems that it could cause out there on the roadways,” Albano says.
Snow, sleet and freezing rain continue to fall across the Ozarks this afternoon, and the NWS is urging you to complete your travel as soon as possible.
“And this is a system that’s going to be around really through the evening commute, probably not pulling out of maybe the Branson, the Springfield metropolitan areas until maybe after 6 o’clock this evening,” Albano says.
The NWS says the Warsaw and Osage Beach areas could see up to three inches of snow, by Friday evening.
Numerous Missouri school districts either canceled classes today, or dismissed early. That meant some of school buses were taking children home during the snowstorm.
Meantime, the NWS in western Missouri’s Pleasant Hill, near Kansas City, says multi-vehicle crashes have caused closures on numerous highways and interstates in the Kansas City region, across the metro and beyond.
Here are some other big stories from today’s winter storm, across the state:
** Missouri state troopers in Lee’s Summit say one person has been killed in a 15-vehicle crash today on westbound I-70, near Oak Grove. Westbound I-70 at western Missouri’s Oak Grove remains closed because of the crashes.
** Snow-covered westbound I-70 in west-central Missouri’s Concordia remains closed. The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) tells Missourinet at least six or seven tractor trailers crashed there, and one of them “tore open”, spilling items onto the highway.
** Snow-covered westbound Highway 54 near the Cole-Miller County line south of Jefferson City saw a pileup involving numerous vehicles today. One listener tells us about 40 vehicles were involved, while another listener says it involved hundreds of cars.