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Friday, May 6, 2016

Will this be the blizzard of 2011?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Broadway in Monett was covered with several inches of snow on Tuesday morning as more snow fell, making visibility an issue for the few who braved area roadways. [Times Photo by Murray Bishoff]
Barry and Lawrence counties were under a rare blizzard warning on Monday night and Tuesday as snow and sleet blanketed the area.

Preparing for the worst, area citizens flocked to local grocery stores to stock up on food, water and other emergency items such as flashlights, batteries, snow melt and propane heaters.

Missouri Department of Transportation trucks and City of Monett crews have been out in full force treating major roadways since Monday night.

By mid-morning on Tuesday, five inches of snow had been dumped in Monett, clogging roads and providing plenty of incentive to stay home.

According to Bonnie Witt-Schulte, Monett emergency management director, conditions in Monett at noon on Tuesday were characterized as "dangerous."

"Only essential personnel should be out in this stuff," Witt-Schulte said. "Police are responding to emergency calls only. Even our cars have trouble driving in this."

Only minor accidents had been reported by noon on Tuesday. Monett streets remained generally snow covered. Witt-Schulte expected the snow would taper off Tuesday night. The blizzard warning remained in effect until 6 a.m. on Wednesday.

Local schools and colleges are closed, and it is expected many will remain that way into the week as temperatures are expected to drop dangerously low, which will make the snow and ice difficult to remove.

On Tuesday, forecasters with the National Weather Service were predicting up to 18 inches of snow in some areas of southwest Missouri along with an additional one-quarter to three-quarter inches of ice. Wind chill values could get as low as -16 degrees with strong winds and gusts as high as 29 miles per hour.

MoDOT and the Missouri State Highway Patrol have issued hazardous travel warnings, advising motorists that being out on the roads is strongly discouraged.

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