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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

How we coped: Snowstorm pounds county on way east

Thursday, December 26, 2002

Nearly 6 inches of snow tops a bird feeder at 527 N. Leavitt St. on Christmas Day.

A double-barreled storm system spread snow from the southern Plains across the Ohio Valley on Tuesday and battered parts of the Southeast with severe thunderstorms.

Snow fell from eastern sections of Kansas and Oklahoma through Missouri and northern Arkansas into Illinois and Indiana.

This morning, Clay County was still digging out of the Christmas Eve snowstorm. Motorists found county roads less than perfect.

"Icy," was Ron Chamberlain's reply when asked about county road conditions.

Chamberlain, county highway supervisor, said the roads were icy, but his crew are doing the best they can with what they have.

"We started about midnight on Christmas morning with three trucks. We had two trucks stuck at the same time and we had to call a wrecker to get them out," Chamberlain said. "We worked about all Christmas day."

Chamberlain said that the crew got most of the snow off the roads, but it turned to ice last night. This morning, the crews were out salting and sanding everywhere they could.

"We're doing the best we can with what we've got. We're trying to get everything out on the roads this morning," Chamberlain said.

As for Brazil city streets, they are "slick," according to Oscar Head, office person at the city garage.

"We never expected that much snow. We normally don't get that much snow, but we were out most of yesterday and we will be doing the same today," Head said.

Their story is a lot like the county story. They did what they could yesterday, but the melting snow turned to ice overnight, creating havoc with driving conditions.

Slide offs were the order of business for the sheriff's office. Most of the calls into the dispatcher's office involved cars sliding off slick roads. Brazil city police reported no slide-offs since 6 a.m.

"The roads are slick, so people should remember to drive more slowly with ice on the roads," Chamberlain said.

Heavy snow and wind caused whiteout conditions in southwestern Missouri, and ice formed on top of the snow in places. Ten to 14 inches of snow had fallen by Tuesday morning and an additional 4 to 8 was possible by Wednesday morning.

As the storm pushed eastward, snow showers spread through southern Ohio into northern West Virginia, western Maryland and southern Pennsylvania.

Winter storm watches were posted for Wednesday across the Northeast, with 10 to 20 inches of snow possible around Albany, N.Y., the National Weather Service said.

Radar showed rain showers stretching along thesouthern edge of the snow belt through Kentucky and southern West Virginia into Virginia.

Heavier rain and thunderstorms extended southward along the Appalachians and the Eastern Seaboard to the Gulf Coast.

Tornadoes battered parts of southwest Georgia and southeast Alabama during the morning, ripping roofs from houses.

Heavy rain fell in sections of northern Florida, northern Georgia and western South Carolina. More than 2 inches fell in the Atlanta area and waist-deep water stalled cars in parts of north Georgia.

The weather service posted high wind warnings for parts of North Carolina, where gusts to 60 mph were possible along the coast.

In the West, a new storm system moving in from the Pacific scattered rain showers from Washington's Puget Sound area across parts of coastal Oregon into northern and central California.

The rain changed to light snow at higher elevations of the Oregon and Washington Cascades, northern California and northwestern Nevada.

Scattered snow showers were possible along the Rockies.

Tuesday's temperatures around the Lower 48 states ranged from a morning low of 15 below zero at Big Piney, Wyo., to midday readings of 83 at Miami and Hollywood, Fla. The lowest wind chill was 23 below at Big Piney.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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