What a difference a day makes. Just 24 hours after basking in spring-like weather, Texas County was slammed with a snow and ice storm that closed schools, made travel treacherous and sent shoppers to stock up at stores.
The early December storm –– following a high of 65 degrees on Wednesday –– arrived last Thursday and postponed meetings and left the area in a standstill as highway department employees worked to keep roadways open. The storm also brought the arrival of bitter cold and a worrisome combination of sleet and freezing rain. The low Saturday was five degrees. Most of the area received a total of 8 to 12 inches of snow and ice.
With inclement weather anticipated to arrive around midday last Thursday, some area school districts were closed. Houston dismissed at noon. All seven Texas County schools were closed Friday, Monday, Tuesday. Classes were called off again for Wednesday.
Businesses and government offices were also affected. Houston City Hall closed early Friday. The food pantry and health department were closed two days. A majority of area churches were dismissed Sunday.
All sporting events were altered by the weather. The City of Houston did not hold its youth basketball league on Saturday. The Houston High School fall sports banquet slated for Sunday was postponed. The Mansfield Tournament and Cabool Invitational for the HHS boys’ and girls’ basketball teams were postponed until today (Thursday). Both were scheduled to begin Monday.
There were several slide-off accidents reported, but no serious injuries. On Monday, a woman from Licking was injured on an ice-covered portion of Highway BB southwest of her hometown. Tpr. Marty Wiseman said Cheri Y. Hamby, 52, who was a passenger, sustained minor injuries and was taken by ambulance to Texas County Memorial Hospital. The driver, Emma J. Connelly, 56, of Licking, lost control on ice, ran off the right side of the highway, Wiseman said. The vehicle sustained moderate damage.