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Hannibal Courier - Post - Hannibal, MO
  • Winter Wonderland; Ice, snow cause local crashes but no injuries

  • Hannibal's first snowfall of the season covered the town with around 4 inches of fluffy flakes on Saturday, Dec. 14, providing a perfect scene for picture-taking, sledding or making a snowman.
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  • Hannibal's first snowfall of the season covered the town with around 4 inches of fluffy flakes on Saturday, Dec. 14, providing a perfect scene for picture-taking, sledding or making a snowman.
    Sledders of all ages dotted the hillsides at the Hannibal Country Club Golf Course and the slope north of the Hannibal Aquatic Center.
    On Monday, Dec. 16, the Missouri Department of Transportation reported all major highways in Northeast Missouri were clear.
    The snow, though beautiful in Sunday's sunshine, had posed a hazard to motorists, partially because of the sleet that covered the streets Friday night before changing to snow.
    On Friday, Dec. 13, the Hannibal Police Department reported eight traffic accidents with no injuries, although some reports stated injuries were unknown.
    Saturday's police report was similar, with six no-injury accidents listed. The accidents locations included U.S. 61 and state Highway 168, Sunshine Terrace and Bird, Pleasant and Hazel, the Walmart parking lot and private property at 4500 McMaster's Ave.
    One resulted in a traffic ticket, when a male juvenile was charged with leaving the scene of an accident and reckless driving after a pickup truck knocked down a street light in the 200 block of Magnolia.
    The past weekend was the second time the Hannibal Street Department had been out using its ice-melt material this season, according to City Manager Jeff LaGarce. On Sunday, Dec. 8, the light snow also brought out the crew, he said. "We did distribute salt last weekend. There were some slick areas."
    Hannibal's ice melt supplies "are holding up fine," LaGarce said. "This is our first real snow. We start the year with a full complement, and we are in good shape."
    Explaining the street department crew works in the evening when needed, LaGarce noted that "whether we get a 2-foot snow or a 6-inch snow, we are probably going to use about the same amount of salt," because streets are cleared several times before the salt is distributed. "A heavy snow does not require any more salt than a light snow."
    Nine fatalities
    in 24 hours
    in Missouri
    Although Hannibal's crashes did not involve reported injuries, the State of Missouri was not as fortunate. On Saturday, Dec. 15, the Missouri State Highway Patrol reported nine people had died in Missouri during the past 24 hours.
    Officers reported that Troop B, which includes Hannibal, had five injury accidents during the same period.
    Capt. James E. Wilt, commanding officer of Troop B in Macon, on Saturday said he "would like to remind motorists of the dangers of winter driving. In the past 24 hours, most of the State of Missouri has received snow and ice, making traveling very treacherous."
    He added that "in the Troop B area - the 16 northeast counties of Missouri - troopers have investigated a large volume of traffic crashes and slide-offs in which five people were injured."
    Page 2 of 2 - When roads are either completely or partially snow- and ice-covered, traveling is dangerous, Wilt said. "Unless absolutely necessary, the Patrol asks motorists to refrain from driving until road conditions improve.
    "It is recommended that the public check road conditions before traveling by calling Missouri's Road Condition Report (1-888-275-6636) or by viewing MoDOT's Road Condition Map by going to the Patrol's web site www.mshp.dps.mo.gov and clicking on the Road Condition icon," Wilt said.
    "If traveling becomes necessary, drivers are reminded of the poor road conditions and urged to drive at slow speeds, increase your following distance, and realize it will take more time to get stopped," he said.
    "The Patrol would also like to remind motorists of the importance of wearing seat belts. The Patrol encourages motorists to protect themselves by making sure everyone in the vehicle is restrained in a seat belt or child restraint."

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