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Snow shutters all Fort Leonard Wood area schools; post on two-hour delay
PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (Jan. 7, 2010) — Bad weather conditions including significant overnight snowfall have closed all seven school districts serving the Fort Leonard Wood area, as well as the Pulaski County Courthouse.

On the fort, military and civilian personnel who are not considered “key and essential” have a two-hour delayed report time with a liberal leave policy in effect for those unable to report. Key and essential personnel have a normal report time.

School districts in Laquey, Richland, Swedeborg, Crocker, Dixon and Plato had all announced Thursday closures by 9:50 p.m. Wednesday. Officials with the Waynesville R-VI School District announced their closure later.

In addition, personnel with General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital appointments prior to the new start time for duty will have those appointments canceled and rescheduled by the hospital.

In other governmental weather-related announcements:

• The Thursday session of Waynesville Municipal Court has been cancelled with all cases on that day rescheduled for Feb. 11.

• St. Robert city officials have opened their council chambers in the municipal center on Eastlawn Avenue as an emergency shelter for those who need a heated place to stay. Two city employees are on duty with a sign-in sheet; security is provided by city police; the police department is in the same building.

• The power supplier which serves Laclede Electric Cooperative, Gascosage Electric Cooperative, and all area cities including Waynesville and St. Robert has announced a peak power alert and asked residents to conserve power from 7 to 10 a.m. and from 6 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. According to a press release issued by Sho-Me Power, “when you hear a peak alert announcement, please defer until other times of the day the use of major appliances like washers and dryers.” Residents are also asked to turn their thermostats down “a few degrees” and turn off small appliances when they’re not being used.

According to the National Weather Service, weather conditions for Thursday in the Fort Leonard Wood area will be somewhat better than they were overnight, with only a 20 percent chance of precipitation including some flurries on Thursday and widespread blowing snow. Temperatures will be cold with a high near 11 degrees and wind chill values as low as 11 degrees below zero caused by a west wind between 18 and 20 mph with gusts as high as 29 mph. Flurries are expected to continue through tonight.

Fort Leonard Wood personnel report six motor vehicle crashes so far. All roads are considered to be on “red” status, which means that stopping is difficult or impossible at most intersections on the fort and “clearing operations have not kept priority number one roads easily passable. Black ice or ice sheeting has made passage hazardous.”

Post personnel warn that driving above 10-15 mph can cause vehicles to lose traction and safe stopping distances are significantly increased.

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