Two days of record-breaking snowfall dropped 16.2 inches of snow on Columbia, and more snow is expected to accumulate today.
A record of 10.4 inches fell Friday, and an additional 5.8 inches — also a record for the day — fell Saturday. Less than half an inch is expected today.
Power could be fully restored across Columbia as late as Tuesday, city spokesman Steve Sapp said Saturday.
Sapp said hopefully the “majority” of customers have their power restored by Monday but that it could potentially take until late Tuesday. Crews are working from the biggest to the smallest outages, he said.
The last major snow event in Columbia was on Feb. 1, 2011. What many called Snowpocalypse dropped 17.5 inches on the city. The record for most snow in a day is 18 inches, on Jan. 19, 1995.
Because of numerous power outages across the city and county, the American Red Cross will open an overnight emergency shelter for those without power, according to a news release.
The shelter is located at Broadway Christian Church at 2601 W. Broadway, which is just south of the Columbia Mall, and opens at 7 p.m.
Those who use the shelter are encouraged to bring medications, toiletries and pillows and blankets, according to the news release from the Boone County Office of Emergency Management. No pets are allowed.
A limited number of spaces are also available at the Salvation Army Harbor House at 602 North Ann St.
As of 5 p.m. Saturday, about 8,500 households had no power, according to the city. At one point, about 10,000 homes were affected.
Because of this, the city sought an emergency declaration and asked utility crews from other municipalities for assistance, according to the news release.
Interim City Manager John Glascock made the request through the Missouri Public Utility Alliance at 8:40 a.m. Saturday. Crews from Macon, Palmyra, Rolla and Waynesville responded, according to the city.
As of 4:30 p.m., all four crews had arrived and were assisting city workers with outages, Sapp said.
The last time Columbia requested help like this was in July 2014, for damage from summer storms.
On early Saturday morning, about 5,000 Columbia households were without power because of outages related to a snowstorm. Some had lost power overnight.
At about 7:20 a.m., Columbia Water & Light posted on its Facebook page that “heavy snow has caused many trees and limbs to sag into power lines causing the outages.”
The department said it had crews out working to restore power. The full map of outages can be viewed online.
Boone Electric Cooperative also had outages being reported early Saturday. In a Facebook post at about 4 a.m., the company said, “We have called additional dispatchers in. Outages are connected to weather related problems. This is wet-heavy snow. Please remember, if you see a power line down, even the service line to your property, stay back 50 feet.”
As of 5 p.m., about 1,500 members — about 4.5 percent — were affected, according to Boone Electric.
To report a Boone Electric outage, call 449-4181.
Many roads in Columbia and the surrounding area remain impassable. Public Works crews are out plowing, the department reported on Facebook.
“However, with the rate of snowfall, areas are covered over quickly. More progress will be made once actual snowfall tapers off,” the department posted about 7:25 a.m.
GoCOMO, the city’s bus service, will not operate Saturday, it said in a social media post around 8:30 a.m.
Many businesses and operations are closed because of the snow. And, on Friday, a commercial airplane from Dallas skidded off the Columbia Airport’s runway. There were no injuries, but it prompted the airport to close. The roof of the Columbia Canine Sports Center also collapsed because of heavy snow, according to the Columbia Fire Department.
MU would remain closed Sunday, spokesman Christian Basi said.
“A decision about Monday will be made late on Sunday,” he said in an email. “We expect to send an announcement on Sunday evening to let everyone know about Monday.”
Stephens College was also closed this weekend. Classes will resume and offices will reopen Tuesday, according to its website.
Efforts to contact representatives of Columbia Public Schools about its plans were unsuccessful.
For a full list of closings and cancellations, check KOMU’s list.
Snow is expected to end by Sunday.
Missourian reporter Bianca Rodriguez contributed to this report.
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