High winds make blizzard-like conditions

Blowing snow created near white-out conditions Thursday morning making road conditions treacherous. Highway Patrol, county and city police forces are working numerous car slide-offs along Highway 10, 210 and T, as welll as city streets. The snow was forecasted to dissipate by late morning with chances of snow until 6 p.m. (Photo by JoEllen Black/Richmond News)

By JoEllen Black/Richmond News

A storm that started with rumbling thundershowers around 5 p.m. Wednesday morphed into the season’s first snowstorm with blizzard-like conditions early today. Strong winds with gusts up to 45 miles per hours hampered visibility, making roads treacherous. Weather services predicted two to five inches of snow by late morning and wind chills of seven degrees tonight.

Richmond Police Chief Chad Burnine said his department was busy covering multiple accidents; however, all were non-injury crashes.

“We have numerous slide-offs due to slick roads, and the first snow of the season, we tend to have more,” Burnine said.

Area MoDOT crews were called in at 10:30 p.m. Wednesday. David Dietch, MoDOT’s Richmond maintenance supervisor, said yesterday’s rain wouldn’t allow his crews to pre-treat roads because the rain would dilute the solution and wash it away.

“As soon as the temperatures drop, we’ll start treating,” he said.

Dietch cautioned drivers to slow down as “you never know when you’re going to hit a slick spot.”

MoDOT closed I-29 from St. Joseph to the Iowa state line due to dangerous road conditions around 7:30 a.m.

Power outages were reported in Hardin, Norborne and Carrollton.

Richmond and Orrick school districts canceled classes today. Both districts scheduled Friday as its last school day before Christmas break. Hardin-Central was not in session. The school’s last day before break was Wednesday.

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