Vicki Dudding, principal at Eugene Field Elementary, didn’t need to tune into The Weather Channel Wednesday to know a storm was on the way.
“You can tell. They’re not bad, they’re just a little antsy. They’re just a little bit different,” she said of youngsters at the school.
Feeling a pressure change may not be the only thing making youngsters restless.
“They’ve heard it on the news so they know we might get out of school early tomorrow (Thursday) or might not have school. They get wound up just a little bit,” said Dudding.
Early in the day, adults were not yet rushing to local stores for last-minute items.
“They are not yet, but I do anticipate it,” said an assistant manager at the County Market in Palmyra, who declined to provide his full name.
The County Market employee knew what customers would be buying.
“Normally it’s milk, water, a lot of your quick “snacky’ stuff. They’ll also go to the meat department. It’s really consumable items,” he said.
Also waiting for the rush to begin Wednesday morning was Pete Peterson, store manager at Sutherlands in Hannibal.
“We’ve got the shovels up front ready to go and ice melt on our marquee, but we haven’t seen a lot of activity yet,” he said.
Like at the grocery store, Peterson expected customers to arrive later.
“Typically people wait until the storm starts. That’s when they start panicking and buying stuff,” he said. “Everybody is kind of weird like that.”
Despite the National Weather Service’s forecast of up to 9 inches of snow, it was “business as usual” at the Street Department Wednesday.
“There have been no special staffing or accommodations for this impending storm,” said City Manager Jeff LaGarce, who indicated the city’s salt supply is in “good shape.”
After the last snow, Street Department personnel helped clear the tarmac and runway at Hannibal Regional Airport. Will they be out there again once the streets are cleared?
“We’ll help the airport if the snow is large enough. The airport has its own snow equipment, but it may not handle larger snows due to the width of the runway,” said LaGarce. “Plowing a 50-foot wide runway can create tremendously large snow piles.”
If enough snow falls personnel with the Parks & Recreation Department will be utilized to help with plowing in some areas. Two areas that won’t be cleared of snow are Riverview Park and Lover’s Leap.
Page 2 of 2 - “When there’s a big snow we close the gate to Riverview Park and Lover’s Leap,” said Mary Lynne Richards, assistant supervisor for promotion and planning with the Parks Department. “We don’t like to have to blade those roads.”
The Missouri Department of Transportation was encouraging people to take care of errands on Wednesday and then avoid traveling if possible on Thursday when the storm arrives.
Among those heeding MoDOT’s recommendations was the Missouri Legislature. While the House and Senate usually meet from Monday until mid-day Thursday each week, on Wednesday the Senate quit work around noon. The House was also giving members a chance to leave early. It planned only a technical session on Thursday, in which no bills will be debated.
(The Associated Press contributed to this story.)