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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

First day of spring brings winter snow storm

Monday, March 22, 2010

The rural landscape around Monett was covered with a layer of snow and ice early Monday morning. The area was hit by five inches of snow on Saturday. Sleet followed by rain followed on Sunday. [Times Photo by Lisa Schlichtman]
Monett dipped back into winter over the weekend as a major storm moved across southwest Missouri. Snow and ice caused numerous traffic accidents, broke trees and caused power outages on Saturday and Sunday.

The first wave of winter weather arrived on Saturday morning ahead of a storm that dumped snow in Oklahoma City and Tulsa. By 10 a.m. on Saturday, ice began forming on trees around Pierce City.

According to dispatchers for the Monett Police Department, the real trouble began when rain turned to sleet on Saturday afternoon. After sunset, precipitation turned to heavy snow that continued into Sunday morning. Accumulation measured five inches around the Monett area. After 4 p.m. the combination of precipitation and falling temperatures turned roads into a skating rink.

"We had more slide offs on Saturday night than we've had in years," said one of the Monett dispatchers.

Officers responding to one vehicle off the road would encounter several others en route. Rural firefighters for both Monett and Pierce City answered one call after another for several hours.

Around 10 p.m. the accident calls tapered off. Snow eventually turned to sleet, which continued into the early afternoon on Sunday before turning back into rain.

Weather contributed to a power outage to the Southern Heights subdivision at 12:19 p.m. on Sunday. Electric crews responded and had power restored by 12:54 p.m.

Utilities Superintendent Pete Rauch said electric lines running through back yards in Southern Height are difficult for tree trimmers to access and gave crews a great deal of trouble in the 2007 ice storm. Rauch was pleased to report a lack of calls about power troubles on Sunday.

Rising temperatures and additional rain eliminated the ice and snow quickly on Monday.

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