Snow and sleet are falling in downtown Houston. Schools in the county are closed.

Crews with the City of West Plains will join efforts tomorrow morning to restore power in Houston, which sustained the worst winter storm in 20 years, the City of Houston announced this evening.

Weary City of Houston workers were sent home this evening after being on the job for about 24 hours after an ice storm hit Houston on Monday evening. Help from Howell County will include six workers and three trucks to aid efforts to restore electricity. “This will speed up the recovery,” said City Administrator Larry Sutton during a briefing this evening. It is estimated about 85 to 90 percent in the city have power. At times today, a majority of the city was without power.

According to the City of Houston, these areas remain without electricity:

*An area around the U.S. Forest Service, Thomasville Road and South and East Oak Crest Drive. The region is among the most seriously damaged, Sutton believes.

*A small area in the Lillyview Addition, where a pole needs to be replaced in a difficult area to reach.

*A portion of John Street.

*Several isolated areas, including those where falling trees and limbs have caused damage to weather heads and fuse boxes at individual homes. Those homeowners need to seek the services of an electrician, according to the city.

The Houston Storm Shelter is open this evening at First and Pine streets for those looking for a place to stay.

Those without heat also are urged to let water drip. The low tonight is expected to be about 15 degrees.


A major portion of Houston continues to be without power today after an ice storm downed trees, limbs and electrical lines.

City of Houston officials announced that the city’s storm shelter was opened for those seeking warmth. It became operational Monday night, said the city’s emergency preparedness director Bill Nichols.

City Administrator Larry Sutton said this morning that problems are widespread in the city’s electrical system.

Some areas of town have been without power for about 15 hours. It’s the second power outage for the City of Houston – only last week a severe thunderstorm ripped through part of town leaving many in the dark and causing damage at a city substation.

Workers at city hall were busy Tuesday answering inquiries. “We just can’t say right now when the power might be restored,” said City Clerk Lorraine Aye.

City crews worked around-the-clock to restore power beginning Monday night. As the rain fell, trees and limbs hit the ground. The calls came from across the town from Millstone Road to near Oak Hill Drive and Forrest Street, where the Houston Fire Department responded to a report of a tree on fire. At one point, the Texas County Sheriff’s Department had a running list of those reporting trouble.

At about 5 a.m. Tuesday, a tree on the Leavitt property was uprooted. Tree limbs and other debris cover roadways. Yards are littered with branches and large parts of trees.

At the Houston Elementary School, a portion of a tree rests in the front yard. Classes are cancelled at Texas County schools. Down the street, at the Skouby residence a tree stands in ruin next to where another one was toppled from an earlier storm.

Sutton, the city administrator, said it may be some time before power is entirely restored. With south-central Missouri hit hard, Sutton said it is unclear whether additional linemen might be available.

Earlier:It’s a recipe for problems this evening in Houston: Rain freezing on already ice-covered trees and power lines.

The weight is downing trees and power lines throughout the town, rescue personnel are reporting. Power outages are reported.

The Houston Fire Department responded this evening to a blaze near Oak Hill Drive and Forrest Street, where a tree made contact with an electrical line and was on fire. Electrical lines are reported down in several locations.

Earlier: The National Weather Service in Springfield issued a winter weather warning for southwest Missouri until midnight tonight. A winter storm watch will remain in effect from this afternoon to late tonight.

Sleet, freezing rain and snow are falling in Houston.

Freezing rain, sleet and a chance of thunderstorms are expected this afternoon. Sleet and snow are predicted after midnight. Snow and sleet accumulation of up to 1 inch are expected. Ice accumulation of up to one quarter of an inch also will be received, the National Weather Service said.

Texas County schools are closed, as are many businesses. Total ice accumulation of a quarter to a half inch is possible across all of the Missouri Ozarks. Thunderstorms will also be possible across the area, which could lead to even more ice, the advisory said.

Accumulations of snow and sleet of one to four inches are expected across central Missouri, generally north of Interstate 44 and east of U.S. 65.

Arctic air across the Missouri Ozarks on Sunday evening was predicted to remain in place today as low level winds just off the surface turn more southerly and begin to bring gulf moisture northward.

As the storm approaches from the west, this moisture will continue to stream over a shallow dome of subfreezing temperatures, the advisory said. This will set the stage for a mixture of accumulating freezing rain. Ice pellets and snow are expected this morning.

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