The city was quiet Tuesday as most residents headed the warnings of area officials and stayed off the roads.
With up to 8 inches of snow predicted, schools and many businesses kept their doors closed, encouraging those who did not have to travel not to attempt it. The Missouri Department of Transportation also issued a no travel advisory as blowing snow covered most highways and interstates.
Beginning around 5:30 a.m., approximately 4.5 inches of snow had fallen by 1 p.m., said Pettis County Emergency Management Director Dave Clippert.
“Originally the National Weather Service had put us in the 8 to 10 inches of snow range, but unless a lot more comes our way or the storm changes its path, I don’t see us getting that much,” Clippert told the Democrat Tuesday afternoon. “It looks like after a shot stop (late Tuesday afternoon) we could get another 2 inches late Tuesday night or very early Wednesday morning.”
In addition to schools and local businesses, Bothwell Regional Health Center closed its clinics from noon Tuesday through today, with the exception of out-patient cancer treatments and those scheduled for PET scans. Bothwell Foundation and Communications Director Lisa Church said the leadership team met Monday to discuss the impending weather.
“Every time there’s a potential for a big storm we meet to discuss what we’re looking at, how many patients we have, staffing issues, to make sure we’re really prepared,” she said. “We also had our Facilities Department pick up extra ice melt and rent a Bobcat to make sure our sidewalks and parking lots were cleared.”
Bothwell officials also scheduled additional staff in its Emergency Department.
“As physician offices close more people may need to come to the ED, or as people get out in the snow and have falls or get into possible accidents, we want to make sure we have additional staff ready to go,” Church added. “And with that staff we’ve been making sure we have space available, patient or recovery rooms that aren’t being used, for our staff to stay overnight if they have to.”
Bothwell will also have an on-call medical equipment delivery system available today, for those who are running low on emergency medical supplies, such as oxygen. Those interested should call the hospital’s main line at 826-8833.
Wednesday weather will be more worrisome, Clippert said, with actual temperatures expected to be around 7 below freezing in the morning with a windchill of 20 below.
“The worst of that will be between 4 and 7 a.m., but looking at the graphics, three hours later it’s only going to climb three degrees, so it will be very bitterly cold Wednesday,” he said. “The only thing to do is continue to drive carefully and stay warm.”