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Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Parkville, like the entire state and much of the Midwest and Northeast parts of the country, is hunkering down during the latest snowstorm. Park Hill cancelled school on Tuesday and Wednesday and both Parkville and Platte County government offices cancelled work days and regular meetings, too.
Parkville's city streets are barren -- the downtown businesses and restaurants have shut down operations and Parkville Commons stalwarts like Price Chopper are closing early. With the exception of a few trucks and 4x4s, the only vehicles on the road are the shiny red snow plowing trucks from the City of Parkville, Miller's Landscaping and the Parkville Special Road District.
Kansas City Mayor Mark Funkhouser declared a state of emergency late Tuesday, a day after Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency and called the National Guard into duty Monday afternoon as freezing rain fell in the state capital, the beginnings of the latest blizzard for Missouri.
In response, the Missouri National Guard dispatched 600 citizen-soldiers into three areas of the state, centering around Springfield, St. Louis and Kansas City. The guard members are to provide secondary assistance to local authorities and Highway Patrol as needed, doing anything from rescues, clearing the road for missions or going door-to-door giving assistance.
Salt supplies still look good for the cities where the National Guard will be dispatched. The Kansas City District reports about 65 percent of their salt remaining but that they will refrain from using the salt during the periods of heavy snowfall Tuesday. As of this writing, Parkville's salt reserves are unconfirmed but plowing did cease during the day, picking up at around 11:00 p.m. Tuesday evening.
"Very rarely do we get a blizzard warning, so we want to manage this crisis, not have it manage us," said Major General Stephen Danner of the Missouri National Guard.
The guard was activated Monday to give its citizen-soldiers enough time to safely reach their destinations before the brunt of the storm hits, Nixon said.
"I don't think Missouri drivers have seen a storm system quite like this until you've lived in the northern plains of the United States," Danner said. "Rarely do we have a blizzard warning ever issued in the state of Missouri, so I would encourage anybody that does not have to travel, please don't. I can't say that strongly enough."
Nixon said the snowstorm is not comparable to the ice storm that hit the southern part of the state a few years ago; it is worse. Although he does not expect as much ice coating trees and power lines in this storm, Nixon said the high winds make the storm more dangerous than before..
"Folks should batten down the hatches and hold on," Nixon warned.
The blizzard warning is in effect until Wednesday at 12 p.m. A wind chill advisory will be in effect until Thursday afternoon. Both days will feature intermittent precipitation and temperatures will remain frigid until te weekend, according to the National Weather Service.
Col. Ron Replogle, superintendent of Missouri State Highway Patrol, said in his 27 years of service, he has never seen a storm predicted to be this severe.
Replogle said the patrol expects to be able to help more stranded drivers than in previous storms because of the addition of more four-wheel drive vehicles. Roughly 800 road troopers are on duty for the duration of the storm.
"It's going to be dangerous, as the governor said, the storm itself is going to be followed up by very, very dangerous low temperatures, wind chills," Danner said. "And if you get stranded, that's going to be problem for you out there in those conditions."
Nixon encouraged drivers to call *55 to reach the highway patrol if there is an accident on the road or 211 for disaster and shelter information.
Labels: Snowpocalypse 2011