December 7, 2006

Severe Storms Spare Scotland County

While the region got its first real snowstorm of the season the evening of November 30th and morning of December 1st, Scotland County was spared the brunt of the weather system that hit the Midwest leaving snow and ice across a wide swath in Missouri and Illinois.

Columbia was the center of the snow, with as much as 15 inches falling in the state’s midsection. The weather bogged down Interstate 70 and actually forced the Missouri Department of Transportation to close down the major highway system in three central Missouri counties on Friday as accidents, stranded vehicles and the mounds of snow were removed.

Further east it was ice that was the main problem, as more than half a million residents of the St. Louis area were left without power because of downed lines caused by ice on the lines and adjacent trees. As late as December 3rd, Ameren UE reported at least half those individuals were still without electricity as the death toll from the storm hit 19.

Resembling efforts in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, members of the Missouri and Illinois National Guard have joined the relief efforts going door to door in the worst areas to assist residents in danger.

Scotland County was on the north edge of the storms, with the region reporting a wide variety of precipitation. The City of Memphis reported anywhere from two to four inches of snow while the Downing area as well as north of Memphis had less snow. Residents in Gorin and Rutledge reported approximately double the amount of snow in Memphis, forcing the Scotland County R-I School District to cancel classes on Friday, December 1st.

Threats of ice two nights before had started a string of cancellations of public events that carried on throughout the weekend.

That was the bulk of the effects of the weather front, beyond the numerous hours of overtime put in by city, county and state workers bringing the roadways up to speed for safe travel.

The Scotland County Sheriff’s Department had no reports of any accidents or stranded vehicles during the storm.

“It was amazing, we did not have a single accident, not even any vehicles off the roadway or stuck,” said dispatcher Lanea Norton.

Weather forecasts are calling for above freezing temperatures heading into the weekend and next week meaning the current snow cover in Scotland County likely will be short lived.

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