Light snow hits Kansas City; Severe storms cause problems to the south

Hit with record warmth just two days ago, the Kansas City area was seeing a light snowfall Wednesday morning. Meanwhile, the cold front that brought tornado watches and warnings to Kansas and Missouri on Tuesday was wreaking havoc in the south.

Flurries began a little after 3 a.m. in Kansas City, with some areas to the north and west already seeing more consistent snow. The snowfall finally began to pick up steam in the metro at about 6 a.m., but by a little after 8, only about a half-inch had fallen.

No additional significant accumulations were expected in Kansas City, though 41 Action Weather Meteorologist Brett Anthony said some flurries might persist until about noon.

Winter weather advisories remain posted for several counties in Kansas and Missouri. Visit http://bit.ly/ZgSaV0 to see an updated list of weather alerts.

"So far, so good," Missouri Department of Transportation spokesman Steve Porter said, speaking of the road conditions in the metro during the early-morning rush hour. "We don't want you to get a false sense of security. The highways can turn slick very quickly."

And that they did. Even with the small amounts of snow, roadways became slick and dozens of minor accidents were reported. At Staley High School in northern Kansas City, eight cars ended up in a ditch when they tried to avoid a long line of vehicles waiting to get into the school.

Later in the morning, the Kansas Department of Transportation was reporting mostly slush-covered highways in the Kansas City area. In Missouri, Kansas City-area roads were mostly clear, with the biggest problems to the north, according to the DOT road conditions map.

In Platte City, Mo., where 41 Action News Reporter Sarah Hollenbeck was monitoring the road conditions, accumulation began piling up by 6 a.m.

Steve Porter, a spokesman for the  Missouri Department of Transportation, said roads in the northwest corner of Platte County and in areas north of St. Joseph were seeing the worst of the road conditions.

Sean Demory, a spokesman for the Public Works Department in Kansas City, Mo., said about 200 city trucks were ready to treat the roads, but as of early Wednesday, most of them were on standby while others pre-treated some bridges.

On both sides of the state line, the break between Tuesday night's rain and the snow gave a window for crews to pre-treat the roadways.

"We've got everything treated. Now we're kind of just waiting and watching," Kansas Department of Transportation spokeswoman Kim Qualls said in an interview on 41 Action News Today just after 5 a.m.

Temperatures are expected to dip to about 25 as the morning moves on, then rebound just slightly into the upper 20s.On Tuesday, the National Weather Service issued tornado watches and warnings for dozens of counties in Kansas and Missouri, but no tornadoes were reported and there were no reports of wind damage.

Further south, the threat of damage from high winds remained, with the National Weather Service taking reports of high winds and/or damage on Wednesday in Tennessee, Mississippi, Kentucky, Louisiana, Alabama, Indiana and Ohio. One fatality was reported in Davidson, Tenn., when a man took cover in a shed.

In nearby Mt. Juliet, about 22 miles away on the other side of Nashville, video and images from the police department showed damage to buildings and trees.

Robertson County Emergency Management officials reported 20 homes were damaged in Springfield, Tenn., and one person was injured, the National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center reported.

Another person was injured near New Market, Kent., when a mobile home was damaged, according to the SPC.

Emergency management officials say the large storm front blacked out thousands in Arkansas and has caused scattered power outages in northern Mississippi. At least one person was reported injured by lightning in Arkansas.

Jeff Rent at the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency urged residents to be on guard for severe thunderstorms, high winds and possible twisters.

Rent says some houses have been damaged and trees and power lines felled as the brunt of the storm was felt in four Mississippi counties overnight. The storm is set to sweep toward the Eastern seaboard in coming hours.

The Associated Press Contributed to this Report

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