In a week filled with nothing but winter weather stories I bring you yet another one.  This is an anniversary story regarding the monster blizzard and snowfall that occurred 8 years ago. It was one of the biggest snowfalls to ever hit the area. A wintry mix of snow and sleet spread into Central Missouri near daybreak on that Tuesday, February 1, 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. It was tremendously difficult to forge through the deep snow and drifts to get myself home and I worried about getting back to the station the next morning. As it turned out thanks to 4-wheel drive, I was the only one to make it to the station the next day.

The day following the big storm was eerily quiet outside with sunshine dominating the day and virtually no traffic moving in the city. I remember there were so many phone calls made to the station that day with cancellations that 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.

It’s hard for me to believe that it has already been 8 years since that monster winter storm. It was a snowfall for the ages and one I will never forget for the rest of my life. That’s saying something since I lived 10 years of my life in the lake-effect snow country of New York State.

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