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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • Temperatures hit minus-15 in parts of Missouri

  • The morning low in Farmington and Osage Beach was a brutal minus-15 degrees, and it was minus-14 in Jefferson City and minus-13 in St. Charles and Rolla. It was cold, but far from a state record. The coldest reading ever recorded in Missouri was minus-40 degrees, in Warsaw, on Feb. 13, 1905.
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  • As Missourians muddled through another frigid day Tuesday, the worst cold snap in nearly two decades was about to come to an end - just in time for more snow.
    The morning low in Farmington and Osage Beach was a brutal minus-15 degrees, and it was minus-14 in Jefferson City and minus-13 in St. Charles and Rolla. It was cold, but far from a state record. The coldest reading ever recorded in Missouri was minus-40 degrees, in Warsaw, on Feb. 13, 1905.
    Many roads and highways, especially in southern and eastern Missouri, remained partly or mostly snow-covered two days after a winter storm dumped several inches of snow. Missouri Department of Transportation spokeswoman Shaunda White said the warming temperatures should help salt trucks and plows significantly. The temperatures have been so cold since Sunday that salt was rendered virtually ineffective.
    "We'll do the best we can with the sun out today," White said. "It does make a difference. We expect to make big progress."
    Tuesday highs were mostly expected to reach the 20s. National Weather Service meteorologist Butch Dye said temperatures should mostly climb above the freezing point on Wednesday. The bad news: An inch or two of snow was forecast for some of the state on Wednesday.
    "It might start out with a little freezing rain," Dye said.
    After that, things get better. Dye said temperatures should reach the low 40s by Friday and the upper 40s by Saturday. The normal high for the state this time of year is 38 degrees.
    Slippery roads have been blamed for two traffic deaths in Missouri, both on Monday. A 20-year-old woman was killed when her Toyota slid on ice on Interstate 44 in St. Louis and struck a tractor-trailer. A 1-year-old boy died when the car he was in collided with a snow plow on a county road near St. Joseph.
    The bitter cold has caused problems, too. St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson said the department responded to eight calls about cardiac-related issues that may have been weather-related, including one fatality.
    Frostbite cases have spiked, too. KMOX Radio reported 10 cases at just two St. Louis hospitals - Barnes-Jewish and Saint Louis University Hospital. Emergency room workers said some of the victims were exposed to the elements for just a few minutes.
    Page 2 of 2 - The state's homeless shelters remained busy, and warming centers were open at 261 sites in Missouri, according to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.
    Not everyone at those shelters and warming centers was homeless. Scattered power outages forced some people from their homes. More than 2,400 Ameren Missouri customers were without power.
    The cold was also causing water mains to break. One break flooded Highway 367 in St. Louis County, shutting down the busy roadway and causing an injury accident. Details about those hurt in the wreck were not immediately available.