A surprise snowstorm Tuesday afternoon made for treacherous driving conditions, shutting down county schools for Wednesday and causing literally dozens of accidents on area roadways.
Police had their hands full between the hours of 2:30 and 4 p.m. Tuesday assisting stranded motorists and covering accidents, especially in the area of Business 60 and at all ramp entrances along Highway 60. One Dexter School bus was disabled in a ditch off of One Mile Rd. across from County Rd. 624 (Seven Sisters Rd.). There were no children on the bus when it skidded off the slick roadway and landed in the deep ditch off One Mile Rd. The driver was uninjured. Traffic was halted at Hwy. AF for more than an hour until the bus could be removed by a wrecker called from Poplar Bluff.
Snow began to fall around 1 p.m. and within a half-hour had roadways covered. Highways 60 and 25 were deemed to be "extremely dangerous" by about 2 o' clock.
Dexter Schools dismissed classes at 2:15. Bloomfield let students out at 2:30.
Stranded motorists were assisted by local police, Sheriff's deputies and state troopers throughout the afternoon.
No serious injuries were reported in the immediate area.
Drivers quickly learned that coming to a stop at an intersection was not as easy as it appeared. Dexter Police responded to call after call throughout the afternoon, without a slowdown until after 4 p.m. when MoDOT and city crews had treated the icy highways and roadways.
One of the worst areas for accidents seemed to be along the stretch of Business 60. All hilly areas posed a problem, especially the overpass at AD and Highway 60, where several motorists were stranded. Several drivers awaited help after their vehicles skidded off into the median of Highway 60, especially in an area about three-quarters of a mile east of the 25/60 overpass. Vehicles could be seen in the median all along the stretch from Dudley east to Sikeston. Although Highways 60 and 25 were passable Wednesday morning, patchy areas still existed on both.
Dexter City Administrator Mark Stidham reported road crews were out throughout the night, but temperatures in the low 20s overnight did little to aid in the thawing of the city's roadways. Temperatures Wednesday were expected to rise to around 40 and hopefully work to improve conditions for Thursday traffic.