Weather

Area bracing for winter storm

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Jan. 10, 2019 10:10 pm

QUINCY -- Ready for some snow?

Forecasts call for anywhere from 5 to 9 inches to blanket the Quincy area from Friday afternoon through Saturday, but don't expect Tasha Harris to like it.

"I'm a summer person," Harris said. "I don't even want to go outside."

Harris, an assistant manager at Quincy Farm and Home Supply, said plenty of people were heading out Thursday to stock up in case the predicted winter storm arrives.

"We've got snow shovels, ice melt, everything ready to go," Harris said.

The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for the Quincy area from 6 p.m. Friday to midnight Saturday with total snow accumulations forecast at 5 to 7 inches with locally higher amounts possible.

The highest snow amounts are centered from east central Missouri into southwest Illinois, with accumulating sleet anticipated Friday afternoon and evening across parts of central and southeast Missouri.

Mike Cole, chief meteorologist with The Herald-Whig's news-gathering partners at WGEM, said most of the area will probably see 6 inches of snow or more by the time the storm wraps up. Far southern parts of the region could see up to 10 inches of snow.

"This is a hefty snowfall-producing system," Cole said.

Quincy Department of Central Services Director Kevin McClean said forecasts the department uses expect snow to start about 3 p.m. Friday, continue overnight and end sometime about 6 p.m. Saturday.

Mechanics were checking out trucks on Thursday to make sure lights were working and plows were in place.

"We'll be setting up our trucks probably Friday morning and early afternoon," McClean said. "We will be ready to go just in case."

McClean planned to send the department's night crew home early Friday morning and have them back at 7 p.m. Friday.

"They'll be prepared to work through the night if necessary," he said. "The day guys will stay on and work until 7, depending what the weather does."

Cole urged people to stay off the roads Friday night and Saturday.

"Travel is not recommended," he said. "This also will be a wet snow, a heavy snow. Please use common sense and good judgment on how much work you can do when out shoveling."

Area farmers with crops still in the field were scrambling to harvest ahead of a heavy snow, but "we've already had a couple cold snaps and some snow, so I think people are kind of somewhat prepared," Adams County Farm Bureau Manager Shawn Valter said.

"You always have to deal with the weather, but obviously, snow adds another dimension to it, another layer of work to get everything cleaned off and to make sure livestock has water," he said. "With the ground freezing up, it's probably good. Things aren't as muddy as they were."

PREPARE

State and local emergency officials urge the public to take time now to prepare their family, home and vehicle for everything from a dusting of snow to a major winter storm.

Preparedness tips include:

º Winterize your home, and take steps to prevent frozen water pipes.

º Make an emergency plan for you and your family.

º Build a home emergency kit with items such as food, water, medications, NOAA weather radio, flashlight and spare batteries.

º Stock your vehicle with emergency items such as a phone charger, blankets, extra clothes, jumper cables, kitty litter or sand, a flashlight and snow scraper in the event you must travel.

º If you lose power, seek a warming center in your area until the power can be restored.

More tips for staying safe at home and on the road are available in a Winter Weather Preparedness Guide developed by the Illinois Emergency Management Agency and the National Weather Service. The guide is available at Ready.Illinois.gov.