Schools around central Missouri have closed or are dismissing early as snow begins to cover roads.
Emergency dispatchers had sent first responders to several reports of crashes in the Columbia area before noon, including at least two on Interstate 70. I-70 eastbound was shut down at mile marker 127 just before noon because of a pileup.
Another crash shut down the I-70 westbound offramp onto the Highway 63 connector in Columbia early Friday afternoon. MoDOT warned travelers that several crashes had been reported on the interstate.
WEATHER ALERT: Heavy snow falling across the area, causing roads to become treacherous. Several crashes have been reported on I-70. Use caution if you must travel today.— MoDOT Central Dist (@MoDOT_Central) February 15, 2019
For road condition information, remember to check the Traveler Information Map at https://t.co/hzLWUbkGJ5 . pic.twitter.com/mnz1Ps3kqL
Schools around the area dismissed early, including the University of Columbia, which planned to shut down at 2 p.m. Columbia College closed at 1 p.m.
Jefferson City Public Schools announced just before 10 a.m. that it was dismissing three hours early Friday because of the weather forecast. After-school activities are also canceled.
Dozens of schools had already closed or announced early Friday dismissals, including North Callaway, Osage, Southern Boone and Tipton. Columbia Public Schools were not in session Friday because of a teacher work day.
A full list of closings is available here.
Live video of current conditions is available in the player below.
The entire area is under a winter weather advisory, with the National Weather Service calling for 1 to 3 inches of accumulating snow in Boone County. The ABC 17 Stormtrack weather team expects 2 to 4 inches through most of mid-Missouri, with snow beginning Friday morning and moving west through the day.
Temperatures in the 20s are expected throughout the day, but recent weather has left behind warmer ground temperatures.
Crews from Columbia Public Works reported in at regular hours to pretreat bridge decks, curves, and intersections on priority routes. The agency said a 22-person crew started treaing priority routes at 10:30 a.m.
Snow has been in the upper atmosphere, not reaching the ground for about an hour - It's now reaching the ground. Expectations are that overwhelming of pavements will occur. A full crew is in place focused on priority routes. Driving is not recommended. https://t.co/5oYbOwvAkI pic.twitter.com/8LF2WpEU2d— Columbia Pub Works (@pub_works) February 15, 2019
Columbia Public Works also told drivers to consider moving their vehicles off the roads before leaving for work this morning to allow more room for the plows. Enforcement of the 2-inch rule on snow routes could go into effect if the snow accumulates, meaning vehicles parked along certain road could be towed if the snow reaches that level.
The Missouri Department of Transportation Central District sent a tweet saying some western counties such as Moniteau were already starting to see effects of the snow by mid-morning.
Roads in the western part of the district (Morgan & Moniteau counties) are starting to feel the effects of the snow. Crews are out all over mid-Missouri preparing for the snow and freezing rain.— MoDOT Central Dist (@MoDOT_Central) February 15, 2019
Remember to check the Traveler Information Map at https://t.co/hzLWUbkGJ5 . pic.twitter.com/Ud725mIisI