Ice covered roads and temperatures dropping to around -17 degrees with the wind chill on the final day brought travel in the Audrain County area to a near halt the early evening of Friday, December 16-Sunday, December 18. Around 3:30 p.m. on Friday, a light rain and freezing temperatures made traveling conditions extremely hazardous in the area.
Both the Van-Far and Community R-VI School Districts began sending students home at 2:30 p.m. Van-Far also canceled schools on Monday with a Thursday make-up date set.
The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) then closed the eastbound lanes of I-70 past exit 149 through the U.S. Highway 54 Auxvasse/Mexico/Fulton exit at mile marker 153.
Local and MoDOT crews did what they could with the streets in freezing temperatures as salt and other treatments aren’t truly effective when it is so cold. Streets looked like an ice rink and drivers had to be careful not to hit their accelerator too hard.
During the first day, the Missouri State Highway Patrol said they had responded to 3,757 calls for service.
Their totals included 1,522 weather related crashes with 171 injuries and six fatalities. The fatal crashes were in Daviess, Iron, Morgan, Laclede, Newton, and Jefferson counties on December 16.
Many weekend activities and church services throughout the area were eventually canceled due to the conditions.