Winter weather briefly closed heavily-traveled southbound I-49 in western Missouri’s Belton on Monday morning, because of numerous slide offs and unsafe driving conditions.
National Weather Service (NWS) Pleasant Hill meteorologist Jonathan Kurtz notes it’s rare for a storm to close an interstate.
“It happens from time to time when you get these pretty strong intense bursts of snow,” Kurtz says. “And we have had two rounds here in the Kansas City metro, and two pretty strong lines have come through.”
I-49, which has re-opened, is a major route for truckers, and runs in Missouri from just south of Kansas City to southwest Missouri’s McDonald County.
Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) spokeswoman Sally Oxenhandler tells Missourinet that southbound I-49 at 163rd Street in Cass County was closed for about 20 minutes today.
Kurtz says conditions on the interstate quickly deteriorated.
“I-49 was only closed for a little bit of time there due to some slick roads there,” says Kurtz. “And snow started to accumulate pretty fast. Once it started hitting the ground, it only took about 20 to 30 minutes for the road to start to get snow-covered.”
The National Weather Service is warning Missourians that the snow and falling temperatures will lead to deteriorating conditions on bridges and overpasses for your evening commute. Mr. Kurtz is urging motorists to slow down.
“My drive in was pretty slick as well, and you just have to give yourself plenty of time. And we can kind of be thrown off, especially when the day before we had highs in the 50’s,” Kurtz says.
Snow is expected to end in Jefferson City by 4 p.m. Monday and in southeast Missouri’s Farmington by 6 p.m. The NWS is urging motorists and anyone heading outside to dress in layers.
Northwest Missouri’s St. Joseph has received about an inch of snow, while mid-Missouri’s Columbia has seen about an inch as well. There’s an inch-and-a-half on the ground in northeast Missouri’s Foley.
Several schools in mid-Missouri and in the Ozarks have dismissed early because of the storm. Westminster College in mid-Missouri’s Fulton has also dismissed classes early.
Click here to listen to the full interview between Missourinet’s Brian Hauswirth and National Weather Service (NWS) Pleasant Hill meteorologist Jonathan Kurtz, which was recorded on November 11, 2019:
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