SNOW UPDATE: Small amounts of snow possible Wednesday

A cyclist makes his way through the snow early Tuesday morning in Quincy. (H-W Photo/Steve Bohnstedt)
Posted: Feb. 26, 2013 7:21 am Updated: Mar. 12, 2013 8:15 am
A Quincy man uses a snowblower near Eighth Street in Quincy on Tuesday morning. (H-W Photo/Steve Bohnstedt)


The National Weather Service is forecasting that less than a half inch of snow could fall in Quincy after 1 a.m. Wednesday, as temperatures fall to 28 degrees. Another inch and a half accumulation is expected by Wednesday night, with highs near freezing.

There are chances of flurries on Thursday and Friday, but with little additional accumulation.

Herald-Whig reporters and photographers were out and about Tuesday finding out how people are dealing with the storm that started at around 2 a.m. Monday. Search for #Qweather on Twitter to view several photos from H-W photographers. 

5:40 p.m.— Snowfall is dwindling as the storm exists Brown County, Ill.

Paula Garthaus, who works the front desk at the Mount Sterling YMCA, said there were loads of children at the facility late on Tuesday.

"We canceled our evening classes and men's basketball, but we've got a lot of kids," Garthaus said.
She estimated that up to six or eight inches of snow fell in town, but added that road crews did a good job of clearing traffic lanes.

5 p.m. — Shelby County, Mo., got snowfall estimated at seven inches in some places. Deputy Sheriff Eddie Landis said there were spotty power outages near Shelbina and Hunnewell lost electric service for a while due to the snow storm.

Highways were in good shape by noon and the Sheriff's Department did not respond to any vehicles off the road.

"It was a little slushy when I came on shift at 10 a.m, but it was pretty clear by noon," Landis said.
"It was a lot calmer than everybody expected."

Shelby County schools dismissed for the day, due to the timing of the snow which fell in the early morning hours.

4:09 p.m. — Mayor John Spring has declared the city's snow emergency over. Residents and visitors park their vehicles on the designated snow routes. Spring said Central Service crews will continue to work on side streets and neighborhood streets tonight.

10:23 a.m. — The National Weather Service in St. Louis told The Herald-Whig the Quincy area may receive a "couple of more inches" Tuesday night, but no major snow accumulation should be expected.

10:22 a.m. — St. Peter Church in Quincy closed its perpetual adoration chapel, according to organizer Sharon Zehnle, because of the combination of heavy snow in the church parking lot, a forecast of more snow later Tuesday and the power being out in the church for a number of hours today. The chapel has no windows and no backup power. The last time the chapel was closed was during the February 2011 blizzard.

10:21 a.m. — Marty Stegeman, interim director of Central Services, said city crews have kept up with snow removal during the late-morning lull.

"As long as we continue to have this lull, we are in pretty good shape," he said.

Stegeman said it looks like the next round of snow will hit the city sometime mid-afternoon.

No cars have been towed during snow emergency routs, but Stegeman said police have issued tickets. Parking on a snow emergency route could result in a $25 ticket.

Snow plow drivers are working 12-hour shifts, with the next crew starting at 7 p.m.

10:20 a.m. — The regional openers for the Quincy Notre Dame and Quincy High School boys basketball teams have been postponed to Wednesday. QND will play Rock Island Alleman at 6 p.m. In the Class 3A Galesburg Regional. QHS was scheduled to play Alton in the Class 4A Granite City Regional.

Also, the Marion County girls and boys sectional basketball games scheduled for tonight at Sturgeon, Mo., have been postponed until Wednesday and will be played in Macon, Mo.

9:40 a.m. — Ameren Illinois spokesman Leigh Morris said power should be restored to nearly all of Adams County.

More than 700 of Adams County's 27,100 customers were without power for more than two hours. "It's possible that a branch was blown and landed on top of wires and was blown off later," he said. "That's not uncommon when you have high winds."

If the wind hits the power lines or conductors, it could cause galloping conductors that could lead to power outages, but Morris said that is rare.

"You have to have a wind blowing across power lines," he said. "It starts them bouncing up and down. It can be exacerbated when there is ice on those lines, because ice changes the shape of the wire. Instead of being round, it becomes more oval, and when that happens, that will enhance the galloping effect."

Morris suggests that if the power goes out to unplug sensitive electronic devices, such as TVs, computers and stereos. He also encouraged customers to check out to see where
outages are and for tips on what to do during an outage.

Of Ameren Illinois' 1.2 million customers, 148 were out of service at 9:40.  Customers should call (800) 755-5000 if they are out of service.

Scattered homes throughout the region were still without power, including less than 20 in Hamilton, Hull, Liberty, Nauvoo and Payson.

9:30 a.m. — Workers at the Hull Fertilizer Service dutifully showed up for work Tuesday morning despite the snowy conditions. All they need now are some customers. "We haven't had any so far, but we're here in case they want to come by," bookkeeper Debbie Davis said.

9:15 p.m. — Sheriff Paul Petty, reached in Pearl, said Pike County roads are not bad but are "two degrees from getting bad."

The southern part of Pike County reported slushy snow, which was quickly cleared.

"They said three to five inches. There's nothing remotely resembling three to five. It's definitely not an inch," Petty said.

9:07 a.m. — Wires down just north of 36th and Koch's Lane. Tri-Township Fire Department was dispatched.

8:57 a.m. — Quincy FM radio station Y101 was off the air for more than two hours this morning. On-air personality Jeff "The Big Dog" Dorsey said the station last power shortly before 6:30.

"We just sat around in the dark and told old radio stories," Dorsey said.

Dorsey's fellow on-air partner, Dennis Oliver, ran into a wall while the electric was out, Dorsey reported.

"When something like this happens, you realize how much you depend on electricity," Dorsey said. "It would be nice if the power would go out during the daylight hours -- at least we'd able to see."

8:45 a.m. — Snow seems to be lightening in northeast Missouri, but Missouri Department of Transportation Customer Relations Manager Marisa Ellison said she expects it to start dumping again soon.

"We've got a little bit of a reprieve, but we don't want people to think it's OK to go out and drive," Ellison said.

MoDOT has focused on keeping U.S. 61 and U.S. 36 clear. Ellison considered these roads passable but not safe for driving. A surplus of the heavy wet snow remains on the roads. "We already had eight inches on the ground, and there's not a place to go," she said. "It's not melting."

MoDOT has brought manpower and equipment from the St. Louis region to aid in clearing the roads. Ellison said the crews were able to spare personnel because St. Louis received minimal snowfall. While the backup has been helpful, MoDOT still hasn't cleared the smaller roads. She
anticipates the crews may make some progress overnight. Ellison advised all drivers to stay off the roads as crews try to remove the snow. She said several cars have already slid off the road.

8:42 a.m. — The Illinois State Police District 14, which includes Hancock County, reports that all roads are snow covered and hazardous. Snow is beginning to drift, and high winds and blowing snow are creating poor visibility. Travel is not advised, but if residents must travel, they should drive slowly and allow extra time to get to your destination.

"Motorists are encouraged to be prepared before getting behind the wheel," Capt. Robert Elliott said in a press release. "We also want to remind motorists that when accidents occur and conditions are extreme, exchanging insurance and driver information are advised to keep motorists safe and roads clear."

8:40 a.m. — Funeral services for Helen "Pat" Bangert were changed due to the snowstorm. The 10 a.m. service at St. Francis Catholic Church still will be held, but a 9:30 prayer service at the Duker and Haugh Funeral Home was canceled and burial at Calvary Cemetery is being postponed.

8:39 a.m. — "We're open for business," Steve Appleby, Quincy's Walmart manager, said. "There's not much traffic and not all of our employees made it in to work, but we're definitely open."

8:36 a.m. — The Quincy Public Library plans to open at 9 a.m. Tuesday despite the severe weather.

"We are going to be open for a while, but I don't guarantee how long," Nancy Dolan, executive director, said. "I doubt if too many people will be out, but we thought we'd give it a shot."

The library brought in a plow crew to clear the library's parking lot, so the facility will be ready to welcome determined patrons.

Not all library employees, however, will arrive for duty because of the accumulating snow. "We kind of have a skeleton crew today," Dolan said.

The library ordinarily is open on weekdays until 8 p.m., but the weather will dictate if the library makes it that far today.

"We figure if it slows down and they get the streets clear, we'll stay open. If it continues to pile up, we'll close early, but we are going to open and be open at least for a while," Dolan said.

8:33 a.m. — Adams County Clerk Georgia Volm said she was at the polling place at Christ Lutheran Church, 333 S. 36th, from 6-6:30 a.m. for the primary election in the 3rd Ward.

"I was surprised we had three people waiting at five before 6," she said, adding 13 people voted before she left.

The polling place is operational, and the county has help in keeping the parking lot clear.

"When we were out at 5 o¹clock, it was worse than it is now," Volm said.

Because the primary is focused to the 3rd Ward, Volm does not expect much turnout.

8:30 a.m. — A spokesman for Adams Electric Cooperative reported no power outages in its area(s). Repair trucks were ready to roll, according to the spokesman, if and when any problems arose. Adams Electric Cooperative serves parts of six different counties, but its main focus is in Adams, Brown and Schuyler counties.

8:30 a.m. — Wires down at the rear of 608 Washington. 

8:26 a.m. — Bent's Family Foods in Camp Point was open for business this morning.

"We opened at 7 a.m., and have had four of five customers," owner Jim Bent said at 8:30. "We had a (supply) truck in early from Omaha -- and he got out of here as quick as he could."

Bent said his store was a "little short" on some of the staples like bread and milk, but it would stay open as long as it could.

"We closed a couple of hours early last week, and we'll probably close a couple of hours early today," Bent said. "It all depends on the weather, plus I want to get my own people home, too."

8:07 a.m. — A man's fingers were cut off by a snowblower at the Quincy Wal-Mart, according to scanner traffic early this morning. The man was not a Wal-Mart employee.

8:05 a.m. — Wires are down at Eighth and Madison.

8 a.m. — Ameren Illinois reports 707 customers without power in Adams County and no outages in Hancock and Pike counties.

8 a.m. — Edward Husar of The Herald-Whig Staff says travel conditions on the south side of Quincy were worsening around 7:30 a.m. — especially on side streets, many of which have not yet been plowed because street crews are focusing heavily on the main thoroughfares.

Intersections that haven't been plowed are becoming rutted with snow piles, making maneuvering difficult and slippery. Motorists planning to park on the street for the day might want to carry a snow shovel in the vehicle in case they need to dig out later to get back home.

7:45 a.m. — The Kroc Center will be closed today. All classes and programs are cancelled.

7:45 a.m. — Quincy Medical Group's clinics in Palmyra and Hamilton-Warsaw are closed today, but Blessing Physician Services at 927 Broadway is open.

7:39 a.m. — Cape Air has canceled three flights this morning from Quincy Regional Airport. Two inbound flights from St. Louis were also canceled.

7:31 a.m. — Sgt. Brent Bernhardt with the Missouri State Highway Patrol said that roads in the northeast portion of the Show-Me State are "trecherous."

"We recommend that no one get out unless it is absolutely necessary," Bernhardt said.

Bernhardt said Troop B, which covers a 16-county area in the northeast portion of the state, has been responding to semi-tractors and cars getting stuck. He said there haven't been many accidents and the Missouri Department of Transportation is trying its best to keep up with the storm.

"MoDOT is doing a great job trying to keep at least one lane open on the major highways," Bernhardt said. "But the secondary (roads) aren't that good. We have city streets in some places that aren't passable."

7:28 a.m. — The United Way of Adams County is closed today due to the snow, and all VITA tax appointments are canceled. The agency will reopen Wednesday and contact VITA clients from today to reschedule their appointments.

7:22 a.m. — Quincy Medical Group opens on schedule.

7:14 a.m. — Snow or no snow, Beth Hamilton usually sees the regulars each morning at Ursa 1 Stop.

"Most of them stopped in for coffee, but some of them haven't," Hamilton said Tuesday morning.

The regulars had one question for Hamilton: Are you happy? "Well, yeah," Hamilton said. "I love the snow."

Hamilton has a ringside seat watching traffic move through Ursa along Ill. 96. "So far it's looking pretty decent out there. You've got to take your time," she said. "It's still coming down."

Some of the regulars reported traffic was slow-moving. "They said it took them about a half hour to get from Quincy to here," she said. "That's not good."

7:10 a.m. — Ameren Illinois reports that 691 customers are without power in Adams County and 290 customers are without power in Brown County (15 percent).

7 a.m. — The city snow plows that started at 7 a.m. will "go out and try to hit everything with one pass, get material down, then start hitting it hard again," Marty Stegeman, interim director of Central Services, said.

Stegeman reported "pretty good compliance" with the snow emergency, declared Monday in advance of the storm, which asks residents to move cars and trucks off snow routes so plowing can take place from curb to curb.

City forecasts call for 5-7 inches of snow, and "I'm hoping that's where it stays," Stegeman said. "I'd prefer 3-5, but I think we already passed the 3 spot."

Crews will remain on 24 hour shifts, 12 hours on and 12 hours off, "until we can knock it out," Stegeman said.

6:38 a.m. — Trooper Mike Kindhart with the Illinois State Police says interstates and state highways are snow packed and hazardous, with vehicles traveling at 25 mph. Blowing snow has reduced visibility to one-tenth of a mile in places. North-south roads are blowing shut.

6:30 a.m. — The Quincy Mall announces it will be closed Tuesday, with an anticipated re-opening at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

6:20 a.m. — The second major snowstorm in a week battered the nation's midsection Tuesday, dropping a half-foot or more of snow across Missouri and Kansas and cutting power to thousands. Gusting winds blew drifts more than 2 feet high and created treacherous driving conditions for those who dared the morning commute.

About 40,000 people in northwest Missouri and northeast Kansas awoke to no power as heavy, wet snow weighed on power lines. Kansas City, Mo., was in a state of emergency as blinding snowfall ‹ made worst by sustained gusts estimated at 30 mph or higher — made car and truck traffic too dangerous.

About 8 inches of new snow had fallen on parts of the Kansas City metro area as the sun rose Tuesday.

Flights in and out of Kansas City International Airport were canceled, schools, government offices and businesses across the region were closed. City buses were getting stuck.

6 a.m. — About 30,000 people in northwest Missouri and northeast Kansas woke up without power as heavy, wet snow hitting the region downed power lines.

Kansas City Power & Light reported at 6 a.m. that a little more than 25,000 customers were without power. The outages stretched throughout the utility's service area from Emporia, Kan., to Sedalia, Mo., but the highest number of outages was in the Kansas City metro area.

BPU, which provides service in Wyandotte County on the Kansas side of the metro area was reporting about 7,600 customers without service. Westar Energy reported 8,900 outages throughout its Kansas region, which includes pockets near Kansas City. Westar¹s highest number of outages early Tuesday was in Greenwood and Douglas counties, which includes the Wichita area.

5:42 a.m. — Quincy University announces that it will be closed for the day.

5 a.m. — Adams County Highway Department plows headed out.

"They're getting on it, trying the best they can to keep up. It's still falling relatively fast. As soon as we plow it, it's covering back up," John Simon, director of the Adams County Emergency Management Agency, said. "People need to take their time, or if they can and have the option, don't venture out today. It keeps streets clear from problems, with more space for plows to get roads cleared quicker and get the snowstorm behind us."

Route driver Dennis Rischar from Prairie Farms delivers milk products at Dollar General on Maine Street in Quincy Tuesday morning. (H-W Photo/Steve Bohnstedt)


Taking a look up at snow covered tree in Quincy's South Park. (H-W Photo/Steve Bohnstedt)


A worker uses a snowblower to clear the sidewalk in front of the Marion County Courthouse Tuesday in Hannibal, Mo. (H-W Photo/Phil Carlson)