What a difference 24 hours can make in the weather. No better example can be found than the weather experienced in Hannibal last Wednesday and Thursday.
On Wednesday afternoon, with the temperature hovering in the low 60s, my oldest son, Caleb, invited me to accompany him on a walk. With rain in the area and work to be done I chose to decline his invitation. It was a decision I may not receive again for some time considering all the snow that fell in America's Hometown during the day on Thursday.
When I turned in on Wednesday night I expected to wake up to a white landscape on Thursday morning. However, sleet was still falling when I awoke from my "beauty sleep" the next morning.
For the record, the transition from sleet to snow occurred at approximately 8:30 a.m. at the Henley hacienda. After the snow began to fall it continued to do so until late Thursday afternoon. There were times when the snow was light while at other times it was so heavy I could hardly see the trees on a nearby hillside. There were periods when the snowflakes were very small and instances when they were as big as a silver dollar. The direction of the wind determined whether the flakes were falling from right to left or left to right.
There were even instances when the flakes came straight down. After living for five years where it seemed like the wind blew 99.9 percent of the time in south-central Kansas my young children had never seen snow fall straight down from the sky before we moved to Hannibal. I can still see the look of wonder on their faces when they realized snow could fall straight down.
As the day wore on and the snow continued to fall, it became apparent that this was no ordinary winter-weather event. The Hannibal Police Department issued a release encouraging not only motorists, but pedestrians to avoid traveling if at all possible. The Marion County Sheriff's Department reported that tow-truck operators had stopped responding to calls for assistance because of the treacherous conditions. Then the Missouri Department of Transportation announced that sections of U.S. 61 in northern and southern Hannibal had been closed to traffic.
Without a doubt last week's storm was one that will not soon be forgotten In Northeast Missouri. In terms of winter precipitation it has already been a heck of a winter. By my count over approximately the past month there have been three storms that dropped a minimum of 5 inches of snow in the area. Depending on the accuracy of your yardstick, the last two storms left behind about a foot of snow apiece, which obviously created all the travel headaches that were experienced.
Thanks be to those who have been spending a good deal of time plowing snow in recent weeks, whether it be on state highways, county roads or city streets. I also wish to express appreciation to those who have taken the time to clear the sidewalk and stairs around the Henley hacienda which includes my wife, Nancy, our son, Caleb, and our friends John and Sarah.
Even though I have not moved as much as a thimble full of snow this winter, I feel compelled to send a message to Old Man Winter that says, “Enough snow already!”