Vernon County digs out of major snowstorm

Thursday, February 3, 2011
Mountains of snow were removed from the Square by city crews on Wednesday.

The sun was shining brightly Wednesday morning as Vernon Countians dealt with the estimated 18 inches of snow dumped across the area on Tuesday.

Snow plows from the Missouri Department of Transportation were out all night in an effort to clear streets. Travel remained hazardous but less difficult than on Tuesday, because crews were making some headway in clearing streets and because visibility was much better than during the storm, when heavy, falling and drifting snow cut visibility to a quarter mile in some instances. Drivers were still needing assistance often Wednesday morning, having been stuck in the snow, and police were busy helping motorists.

The Nevada Police Department continues to discourage travel during this week's hazardous weather conditions. Nevada Police Officers are out in full force working extended shifts in four wheel drive vehicles to provide assistance to those in need including stranded motorist support.

Above, a Camaro is more than half buried in the snow at a home near the Nevada Municipal Airport.

The Vernon County Courthouse, Nevada City Hall, all area schools, most medical clinics, Nevada Housing Authority offices, and a host of area businesses were closed Wednesday as well.

Plowing continued throughout the day.

Vernon County Emergency Management Director Dennis Kimrey said the Missouri National Guard was helping local law enforcement, supporting their efforts with personnel and four humvees on special duty for the event.

"A lot of people were stuck. There were a lot of semis in the road." Kimrey said. By morning, city streets were being cleared, but the process was slow and cumbersome; Kimrey said many of the county roads we still untouched.

Throughout the storm, the American Red Cross and its volunteers were ready at a moment's notice to open a shelter if needed, for stranded motorists or others in need of emergency shelter. As it turned out, no shelter was opened in Vernon County, but a shelter was opened overnight in Lamar, to serve many motorists who were stranded in that area.

Vernon County Ambulance District Director James McKenzie also said EMS workers are ready for whatever's needed, and have extra support from the Missouri National Guard as well.

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