winter storm

Snow tapers off; but wind, heavy snow threaten trees

Updated: 2013-02-27T21:51:36Z

By ROBERT A. CRONKLETON

The Kansas City Star

The end is near — the end of most of the snowfall from the second major winter storm that hit the Kansas City area in less than a week, that is.

The heaviest snow fall began tapering off late morning. Light snow is expected to continue to fall this afternoon.

The snow fell heaviest — about 10 to 13 inches — in a large area from southern and eastern Kansas City area to Kirksville, Macon and Moberly in Missouri.

The heavy, wet snow and winds gusting to 30 mph were damaging trees, causing limbs to fall on power lines and knocking out power to more than 44,000 customers the area. The gusts are expected to continue all day.

Areas north of the river saw 6 to 10 inches of snow while northwest Missouri had only 1 to 3 inches, according to the National Weather Service.

People are being encouraged to stay off the roads.

In Kansas, two people died in crashes that were attributed to the winter storm.

The first fatality occurred about 8:50 a.m. Monday along Interstate 70 in Sherman County.

Carlos Esqueda, 21, of Kansas City, Kan., died when he lost control of the 2003 Chevrolet Trailblazer he was driving after it struck an icy patch on I-70 near the Kansas 27/I-70 junciton.

Esqueda was headed east when he lost control and ran off the road into the median. The SUV rolled, ejecting Esqueda, who was not wearing a seat belt, according to the Kansas Highway Patrol.

A passenger, Pablo Flores, 22, of Kansas City, Kan., was taken to a hospital for treatment of unspecified injuries. He was wearing a seat belt.

The second fatal crash occurred about 7:45 p.m. Monday along I-70 in Ellis County.

Kirstin R. Nelson, 28, of Ellis, Kan., died. She was a passenger in a 1998 Dodge Ram pickup that was driven by her husband, Eric J. Nelson, 31.

Eric Nelson lost control due to icy and snowy conditions. The pickup rolled at least three times in the median.

Eric Nelson and two children were taken to a hospital for treatment. Everyone in the vehicle was wearing seat belts or was properly restrained in booster seats, according to the Kansas Highway Patrol.

To reach Robert A. Cronkleton, call 816-234-4261 or email to bcronkleton@kcstar.com.

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