Two days of snow made travel difficult and caused area schools to close early in the week.
Between 3 and 4 inches of snow fell on Boonville over Sunday and Monday, according to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The sustained snowfall made travel difficult for the early part of the week, as Boonville Police reported five traffic crashes over Sunday and Monday.
Boonville Public Works crews started plowing and treating roads from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday. They came back Monday morning and continued to plow until late in the evening, Public Works Director M.L. Cauthon said.
“It went well. Being a Sunday, there wasn’t a lot of traffic,” Cauthon said. “Then on Monday, there’s no school, so there’s less traffic than there might have been.”
Over Saturday and Sunday, Missouri State Highway Patrol Troop F — which covers 13 counties in Mid-Missouri, including Cooper and Howard counties — reported that they responded to 455 calls for service, 151 crashes, 183 slide offs, 10 injuries and one death over Sunday and Monday. Nathan Klingman, 18, of Steedman, died Sunday in Callaway County when his car slid off the road.
There were no highway crashes reported in Cooper or Howard counties while the snow was falling, but a Georgia man sustained minor injuries when the Jeep he was in slid on an icy bridge and crashed into a rock bluff Tuesday morning on Interstate 70 in Cooper County.
Monique Perry, 23, of Alpharetta, Georgia, was driving west on I-70 near the Highway 179 exit when her Jeep Grand Cherokee hit a patch of ice, went off the right side of the road, and collided with a bluff, according to a Missouri State Highway Patrol crash report.
Perry was reportedly not injured, but her passenger, Eddie Battle, 40, of Ellenwood, Georgia, was taken to the hospital to treat minor injuries. Both Perry and Battle were wearing seat belts, according to the report.
The Boonville Police Department reported four, two-car crashes on Sunday and one one-car crash on Monday. There were no injuries in any of those crashes, according to a news release from the department.
Cauthon said Public Works had 900-1,000 tons of salt before the snow. He didn’t know exactly how much they used, but he’s ordered another 300 tons, and doesn’t see supply being an issue any time soon.
MODOT is responsible for Highway 87 down to the fire station, Ashley Road out to the city limits, B Highway from I-70 to the city limits and from the fire station to the Ashley Road intersection, Cauthon said. MODOT also plows the Boonslick Bridge, and they may put their plows down on Main Street on the way there. They do a good job with their routes, and Cauthon said he’s never felt like they’ve ignored Boonville.
MODOT and the county’s roads can look clearer than the city’s because the city uses rubber-edged snowplows. The rubber-edged plows don’t always plow down to bare pavement, but there’s less of a risk of damaging obstacles like manholes and valve boxes.
“It’s cleared off, so it’s as safe as it can be to drive on, and then we use salt,” Cauthon said. “If you see one of our vehicles go down the street, and then a MODOT vehicle go down the street, there’s a better chance, because they have steel-edged blades, that he could get right down to bare pavement in a single pass.”
The city manager can declare snow routes, requiring the plows to focus on more heavily-trafficked roads like Main and Morgan streets, but they try to avoid doing that so they can plow as many roads as possible. The town is split up roughly into quadrants, and each driver has their route to plow through.
“We try to hit ‘em all equally,” Cauthon said.