Sedalia has been getting its fair share of bad weather within the last couple of weeks and the forecast shows more to come.
Snow began falling Monday morning and soon blanketed the ground and roads. Road conditions were poor with many residents on Facebook warning others to stay in. Luckily, area schools were already closed in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Temperatures dropped to 9 degrees as of Monday evening with a windchill making it feel like 1 degree.
The Missouri Department of Transportation reported state roads were covered or partly covered in Pettis County as of Monday evening. Roads were extremely slick with multiple accidents statewide. The Missouri State Highway Patrol reported three accidents in the surrounding counties of Pettis County as of Monday evening. The National Weather Service recommends when driving in snowy or icy conditions to accelerate and decelerate slowly. Do not stop going up a hill or approaching a railroad crossing. Drivers should also increase following distances by eight to 10 seconds. The NWS advises keeping an extra flashlight, food, and water in the vehicle in case of an emergency.
Sedalians are in for a small break, with the National Weather Service expecting Tuesday to be sunny with a high of 33 degrees. This relief will be short-lived though with the NWS expecting a slight chance of snow Tuesday night, a chance of snow and rain Wednesday during the day and likely rain and snow Wednesday night. Thursday has a chance of snow and rain during the day and night. Things are expected to clear up sometime Friday with a 30% chance of snow during the day and a high of 39 degrees and a cloudy night. No other poor weather is expected for the weekend.
With cold temperatures comes the risk of cold-related health risks. According to Ellen G. Duysen of the Central States Center for Agricultural Safety and Health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, hypothermia is a serious condition farmers, ranchers, and those exposed to the outdoor elements for may encounter when working in cold temperatures.
Associate Professor for Agricultural and Occupational Health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center Aaron Yoder said in a press release windchill is the most dangerous element of winter weather.
“Windchill is the measure of the rate at which skin exposed to the combined effects of wind and cold loses heat,” Yoder said. “When wind increases, the body loses heat at a faster rate, causing body temperature to decrease.”
Residents are encouraged to dress warmly and avoid prolonged exposure to the cold weather if possible. Individuals should also return inside if they become wet and change and dry off as soon as possible.
Frostbite is also a concern, according to Yoder, and people should stay alert of its symptoms and how to treat it. Fingers, toes, cheeks, nose and ears are the most common places to get frostbite, according to Yoder. Symptoms of frostbite include numbness in the area, aching, tingling, and stinging. First aid should include finding a warm shelter as soon as possible, soaking the areas in warm but not hot water, using a soft cloth to wrap the area and not rubbing the area. Minor frostbite can be treated at home, according to Yoder, but more serious cases will require a physician.
The City of Sedalia will automatically enforce emergency snow routes when 2 or more inches of snow, sleet or freezing rain have accumulated in a 24-hour period, according to the City’s website.
A parking prohibition shall remain in effect until terminated by city announcement or the street has become substantially clear of snow and ice from curb to curb for the length of the entire block. Vehicles parked in violation of a parking prohibition will be ticketed and or towed.
For more information about snow routes, contact the Public Works Department at 660-827-3000.