Update: MoDOT says more work to do

Update: Thursday, Feb. 3 at 9:00 a.m.:

MoDOT officials say crews continue to make progess on clearing snow from the roads. Thier first priority was the most traveled roads, like Interstate 70, Highway 54 and Highway 63. Major routes are mostly clear, but a few remain partly covered.In the past 24 hours, MoDOT crews have been focusing on what they call Priority 2 roads, the minor roads. Crews say 95% are now open to at least one lane Thursday morning. Officials say there is still plenty of work to be done. Those roads will be the focus today.

Drivers can get update information on road conditions by checking out MoDOT TMs Traveler Information Map or by calling MoDOT TMs toll-free number, 888-275-6636.

Columbia City and Boone County offices re-opened Thursday morning. Columbia's trash service remains canceled Thursday. Officials will decide about Friday's service later Thursday.

Thursday, February 3rd, Columbia Transit Fixed Routes will be in service on the Emergency Weather Schedule. However, Campus Shuttle Service and the Gold and Black Routes will NOT be in service.

Update: Wednesday, Feb. 2 at 3:55 p.m.:

The blizzard in Missouri was history-making in more ways than one.

When Interstate 70 closed the entire stretch in Missouri on Tuesday, it was the first time in state history.

MoDOT Community Relations Director Shane Peck told KRCG that was the first MoDOT crews had to close the interstate from Kansas City to St. Louis. The stretch is 251 miles long .

MoDOT still wants drivers to use caution on I-70 because some sections still have hard-packed snow on them.

"The Missouri State Highway Patrol and MoDOT want to emphasize to the public that parts of I-70 are still snow covered and that there are icy patches. Motorists should still not travel if it can be avoided," said Col. Ron Replogle, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol. "Also, remember that many other roads around the state are still not passable."

"We appreciate the cooperation we've seen from motorists," said Don Hillis, MoDOT's director of system management. "Travel throughout the state has been lighter, which has helped us be able to get out there and do our job. We ask for the same consideration today, so we can work to get the roads clear and safe for travel."

Drivers can get update information on road conditions by checking out MoDOT TMs Traveler Information Map or by calling MoDOT TMs toll-free number, 888-275-6636.

Update: Wed. Feb 2 at 7:05 a.m.:

The Missouri Department of Transportation has opened Interstate 70.

First, Interstate 70 from Kansas City to just east of Highway 65 was opened shortly before 7:00. Then crews got the remaining section all the way to St. Louis open shortly after.

Update: Tues Feb 1 at 10:30 p.m. The Missouri Department of Public Safety issued a special "civil emergency" bulletin tonight asking all Motorists on I-70 to exit the interstate and seek shelter. I-70 is closed between I-470 (Mile Marker 15) in Independence all the way through Columbia until Route A in Wentzville (Mile Marker 212).These interstates are closed due to a tremendous amount of snow that has made them impassible, and conditions are still treacherous on other roads across Missouri, said Col. Ron Replogle, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol in a press release. I continue to strongly urge Missourians not to travel during these dangerous conditions. The Department of Public Safety says motorists traveling the interstate should exit at the first highway and seek shelter.Emergency shelters have been established by the Red Cross to assist motorists in need of assistance. Below is a list of the shelters:

St. Peters " Exit 219Ft. Zumwalt South High School8050 Mexico RoadSt. PetersWarrenton " Exit 193Knights of Columbus Hall 700 S. South StreetWarrentonWright City " Exit 199Emmanuel United Church of Christ141 N. Service Road WestWright CityOak Grove " Exit 28Oak Grove Civic Center2100 South BroadwayOak GroveLee TMs Summit " Exit 15Woods Chapel United Methodist Church4725 NE Lake Wood Way Lee TMs Summit Update: Tues Feb 1 at 5:30 p.m. Missouri transportation officials have closed Interstate 70 along its entire length from Kansas City to St. Louis amid heavy snow and whiteout conditions.

I-44 is now closed as well from Springfield to the border with Oklahoma, which had shut down the highway earlier.

The Missouri Department of Transportation had closed a stretch of I-70 in mid-Missouri earlier Tuesday afternoon. Officials ordered the total shutdown a few hours later, saying the goal is to keep drivers from getting stranded.

There was no word on how long officials expected the highway to remain closed.In southwest Missouri, westbound drivers were being diverted off I-44 at Springfield. MoDOT says the closing of the Will Rogers Turnpike in Oklahoma has caused trucks and other vehicles to back up and block exit ramps.Mid-Missouri is all but shut down. In Columbia, the University of Missouri canceled classes Tuesday because of weather for just the third time in 20 years, and did the same for Wednesday.

Missouri lawmakers cut their week short because of the storm. The full House was not scheduled to meet in a formal session until next week, though a few House committees still planned hearings.

Normally bustling downtown streets near the state Capitol were quiet, too. Many stores were closed, with signs on the windows blaming the weather.

Others weren't going to let a predicted couple of feet of snow keep them from work. The bakery Chez Monet in downtown Jefferson City was open, providing hot oatmeal for chilled customers.

Owner Joan Fairfax made it to work OK. She wasn't sure about the ride home as weather worsened, but said she could walk if necessary.

"I have never missed a day of work because of weather in 20 years," said Fairfax, 54.

Update: Tues Feb 1 at 2:10 p.m.: The Missouri Department of Transportation is closing I-70 in Boone, Cooper and Callaway counties due to whiteout conditions.MoDOT says it does not know how long the closure will last. The Highway Patrol and MoDOT are urging people not to travel.This is not a good time to be on the road, MoDOT Director of System Management Don Hillis said in a press release. Almost all of the state is covered with snow and some areas are receiving ice, making some roads impassable. Please stay home if you can.MoDOT has advised that Highway 54 between Mexico and Fulton is also closed.To view road conditions, click HERE for a link to MoDot's travel map. Update: Tues Feb 1 at 12:15 p.m.:

A tractor-trailer is blocking the Westbound lanes of Highway 54 at Route CC.

Highway Patrol officers are on the scene. They said they got the call around 11:55 Tuesday morning.

Patrol officers say I-70 is in poor shape. The snow is coming down too quickly for MoDOT to keep up. Boone County and Columbia crews are responding to an injury accident in the Eastbound lanes. An accident on Highway 63 at Vandiver in Boone County kept crews busy around 10:00 a.m.

The Highway Patrol says if you don't need to travel, don't.

Update: Tues. Feb 1 at 10:15 a.m.: The Winter Storm of 2011 has made its way into Mid-Missouri, and the worst of it is still to come.

Snow began across the area in the pre-dawn hours and continues to spread across much of the state. Reports from viewers around the area have snowfall totals averaging around half a foot in most places as of 9:30 AM, with much more on the way. Around 10:30, snow totals were: 6 inches in Ashland, 3 inches in Columbia and 4 inches in Sedalia. Portions of the storm system located over Oklahoma reportedly dropped 5 inches in 90 minutes, along with reports of thunder. That section of the storm is headed for Missouri and looks to bring heavy snow this way by the afternoon hours, eventually tapering off by the late evening/overnight hours.

Reports came in around 10:00 a.m. regarding an 18-wheeler accident that was causing traffic problems on Route B in Cole County. Reports at 10:30 said the truck is off to the side, and the road is passable.

Original Story:

Freezing drizzle can be expected through about 3 a.m. when we TMll finally see a changeover to all snow. This changeover will happen between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. Tuesday morning. This will lead to slick and icy conditions in the morning.It TMs possible to see 4 inches on the ground by noon Tuesday. Beyond that is when the heaviest snow will roll through mid-Missouri.

Thunder looks to be possible as this storm system passes. Areas that hear the thunder will see the highest amounts.

As of 11:15 Monday night, it looks like a line through Osage Beach, Boonville, Columbia, Jefferson City, Fulton, and Montgomery City will potentially see the most snow with 15-20 inches possible. Outlier cities like Sedalia, Moberly, St. Robert, and Rolla will fall in the 10-14 inch range. Areas outside that are looking to get 8-12 inches of snow.This is a strong storm that will not only bring a bunch of snow, but harsh winds with gusts around 40 mph. With the Blizzard Warning in effect through noon on Wednesday, you can expect near white-out conditions with blowing snow and visibility less than a 1/4 mile at times. Traveling is discouraged and so is venturing outside.Blowing snow will be a major problem Wednesday afternoon with snow drifts of 4-5 feet. Polar air will spill in late Wednesday, which will make air temperatures fall through the day to about -10 by Thursday morning.