Bob Boden, a maintenance worker at Greenmount Cemetery, heads back to the maintenance shed after removing snow around the gates at the entrance to the cemetery along South 12th Street Friday morning. (H-W Photo /Phil Carlson)
By STEVE EIGHINGER
Old Man Winter left what might be a final calling card Thursday night.
Snowfalls of 4 to 8 inches blanketed West-Central Illinois and Northeast Missouri only a few days after spring-like temperatures had gripped the region.
The overnight snow was a brief reminder of what transpired earlier this month when a record 22-inch snowfall engulfed the city.
"Our records show that, typically in most (winter seasons), we get one final snowfall around the end of February, and hopefully this is it," said Jeff Steinkamp, director of Central Services for the city of Quincy.
That did little to soften the disappointment of residents like Vicky Egbert, whose family lives in the southeast portion of Adams County.
"I am very depressed," she said. "We had our yard all cleaned up and I was looking forward to working in my flower beds. That's not going to happen."
Egbert then managed a smile.
"But we're headed to Florida next week to visit my parents," she said.
The forecast calls for off-and-on flurries the next couple of days, with the possibility of a little rain mixed in at some point Saturday. By Sunday, however, the temperatures are expected to reach into the mid-50s.
A spokesman for the Quincy Police Department this morning said there were no major accidents on any of the 190 miles of city streets.
"Everything was quiet." said Lt. Dennis Bingheim. "There were no problems."
Steinkamp said all 15 of the city crews responsible for plowing streets worked through the night and will continue their efforts today.
"We'll be working on clearing side streets (Friday)," he said.
Steinkamp said there was no trouble of any sort in clearing streets of what was a combination of slush and packed snow.
"We may have gotten as much as five or six inches of snow in some parts of town, but there were no problems," he said. "In a day or so, this will be all gone."
Despite the historic snowfall earlier this month and a handful of other winter-weather episodes, Steinkamp said the season overall has not been that bad.
"In an average winter, we deploy our snow-plow crews 20 times," he said. "This is only the 14th time we have had to do so this year."
Around the region, Chicago just missed establishing an all-time record for February snowfall -- but there is still hope. Thursday night's winter storm mostly passed to the south, leaving the city just short of reaching the 27.8 inches that fell in 1896. Chicago currently has 27 inches of recorded snowfall this month.
The record could be reached this weekend if snow slated for Friday night into Saturday morning materializes, according to the National Weather Service. The Chicago area is expecting to receive between one and two inches.
Herald-Whig Staff Writer