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‘The Big Snowstorm’ Hit Two Years Ago Today

Thomas Cooper/Getty Images

It is hard to believe, but it was two years ago today that one of the biggest snowfalls to hit the area began. A wintry mix of snow and sleet spread into central Missouri near daybreak on  Tuesday, February 1st, 2011 and the wintry precipitation quickly overspread the area into Western Illinois during the morning.

This winter storm produced quite a range of hazardous winter weather conditions across the area. Heavy snow fell across central and northeast Missouri into west-central Illinois with rates at times exceeding 2 inches per hour. These high snowfall rates combined with strong northwest winds gusting from 35-50 mph produced blizzard conditions with near zero visibility at times in white-outs and snow drifts of 3 to 5 feet deep.

Total snowfall accumulations in the Hannibal and Quincy area ranged from 14-22 inches. I managed to get myself home but worried about getting back to the station the next morning. As it turned out, I was the only one to make it to the station the next day.

It was so quiet outside with sunshine dominating the day and next to no traffic moving in the city. I remember there were so many phone calls to the station that day with cancellations it was hard to keep up with everything. It got to the point that it was just easier to mention what was open rather than what was closed that day.

It’s been two years now and we have not had any significant snowfall since. It was a snowfall for the ages and one almost everyone around will remember for the rest of their lives.

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