Just as predicted, Friday’s snowfall came fast and relentless, stranding motorists, causing massive traffic delays and making the start of a three-day holiday weekend an icy and treacherous mess.
More than an inch of snow had fallen on the Kansas City area by noon on Friday, forcing schools to close early and countless other cancellations.
Law enforcement agencies responded to dozens of crashes including one fatality in a 47-vehicle pileup on Interstate 70 in the Oak Grove area.
Most of the metro received between two and a half to four inches of snow. That made hazardous driving on many roadways and interstates.
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Snowfall finally eased up a bit later Friday afternoon, though, the National Weather Service still expected another half of an inch overnight.
On Saturday evening, another wintry mix will creep into the area. The low overnight is expected to be around 22.
The biggest hazards that evening will be freezing drizzle, and a little bit of snow with some ice accumulation.
“That could make the roads pretty slick,” Jenni Pittman with the weather service in Pleasant Hill said.
Motorists planning to travel through the area this weekend could encounter icy road conditions. Drivers should take it slow and plan to add extra time to their trip.
On Friday, the Missouri Department of Transportation encouraged motorists to “stay inside” to allow their crews to complete snow removal efforts.
“There’s been quite a few wrecks and slide-offs and that’s preventing crews from clearing roads,” said agency spokesman Markl Johnson. “The sole reason for making the request, crews are all running their routes and will continue to do so until roads are clear.”
Crews planned to work on clearing highways overnight.
Kansas City deployed 200 snow plows to begin clearing many of the city’s 2,400 miles of arterial streets Friday. And those crews will continue to work throughout the weekend, said Kansas City City Hall spokesman Chris Hernandez.
Residents are urged to remove cars from residential streets to ensure access for motorists and city snowplows. Parked cars on Kansas City streets that are designated snow routes will be towed.
The inclement weather also hampered some trash collection services.
Most police and law enforcement agencies are asking motorists involved in minor, non-injury fender-benders to make walk-in reports.
Looking ahead to next week, the weather service said another snow event is expected on Tuesday. Temperatures will also remain frigid. Not much snow or ice is expected to melt.
As far as that early spring, the weather service’s Pittman stressed patience.
“It will get here eventually,” she said.