Update: Nixon Declares Emergency As Snow Slows Transit, Retail

A snow plow works to clear a Columbia parking lot as snow blankets the city Thursday morning | Photo by Michael Stacy

The winter storm that has the Midwest in its grips is bringing travel and business in many parts of Missouri to a snowy, grinding halt.

With snow accumulating at reported rates of up to three inches per hour in Kansas City and expected to accumulate at two inches per hour in Columbia, Gov. Jay Nixon this morning declared a state of emergency. He also activated the Missouri State Emergency Operations Plan, which allows state agencies to coordinate directly with local jurisdictions to provide emergency services.

The National Weather Service has the vast majority of the state under a winter storm warning. The only outliers — a handful of counties in the Boot Heel — are under a winter weather advisory.

In Kansas City, up to 12 to 14 inches of snow is expected. Kansas City International airport canceled all flights for the day just before 10 a.m. The Kansas City Area Transit Authority Busses announced it will suspend all bus service at 1 p.m. are  Area shopping centers, restaurants and theatres are shuttering their doors.

In addition to a laundry list of school cancellations in the Kansas City metro area, Kansas state offices are shut down. The Kansas City Council canceled its business and legislative sessions today.

General Motors sent the workers home for the day from its Fairfax Assembly Plant, which employs about 4,000 people in Kansas City, Kan.

In Columbia, which the storm first hit at about 8 a.m., Boone County government offices are closing at noon. City transit will stop running at 6:30 p.m. Columbia Regional Airport has canceled its remaining flights for the day. The University of Missouri announced at 12:50 p.m. that it’s in full closure for the day.

Snow first began to fall in St. Louis area at about 10 a.m. By 11:50 a.m., close to 100 flights at Lambert St. Louis International Airport had been canceled.

Other business closures in the area include entertainment and nightlife venues like the Verizon Wireless Ampitheater box office, the Pageant, Suite 100 and the Halo Bar.

Stay tuned to this story throughout the day for updates from across the state.

Read more from the Kansas City Star, the Columbia Missourian and the St. Louis Post Dispatch

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