Interstate 70 in Boone County was moving slowly Monday afternoon after the highway was re-opened following a major accident in eastern Cooper County, with traffic backed up as far as Stadium Boulevard from the Missouri River bridge near Rocheport.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol reported at 3:45 p.m. that the highway was open again but that traffic would move slowly as crews worked to clean up the accident. Soon after the crash, the patrol about Patrol reported via Twitter at 1:45 p.m. that there were "multiple tractor trailers blocking" the bridge and that traffic was being rerouted onto Highway 40.
The crash also caused delays for eastbound traffic approaching the bridge in Cooper County.
The Monday snow promises to be the first weather event of an unsettled week. With overnight temperatures forecast to fall to 10 degrees or below for the second consecutive night, Columbia opened the Wabash Bus Station as an emergency overnight warming center.
The National Weather Service is predicting temperatures will rise to the mid-30s Tuesday and remain in a narrow range from the mid-20s to about 40 degrees until Sunday. There is a good chance of rain or snow starting Wednesday afternoon and continuing chances each day through Friday evening.
The snow that caused the accidents totaled 0.4 inches by 4:30 p.m. at Columbia Regional Airport but it fell onto very cold surfaces and quickly became slick.
The snow, which started about daybreak as light flurries, became heavier toward noon. Boone County Joint Communications reported 15 accidents or incidents involving stalled vehicles between 12:30 and 2:40 p.m.
The patrol reported that two girls, 13 and 16, one from Macon and one from Shelbina, received minor injuries in an accident at 12:40 p.m. at Highway 63 and Highway 22 in northern Boone County. A 2011 Chevrolet Impala driven by Elisabeth Fugeat, 17, of Shelbina, slid off the left side of the road and struck a guardrail, the patrol reported.
There was no information immediately available about the injuries to any motorists in the I-70 wrecks.