COLUMBUS – Major winter snowstorms have been hit and miss in Columbus for the last four years.

The community was lashed by heavy, wet snow and blizzard winds last month on Jan. 22 and in early-February in 2016, but saw quite a bit less of the white stuff during the other two years in the four-year span.

This week’s snow events Monday and Tuesday, which arrived with diminished winds, totaled about 5.5 inches. The snowfall, did arrive with bone-chilling cold as the mercury plummeted into the single-digits.

Columbus has had two 10-plus inch snowstorms during the last four years, said Jim Rawhouser, dispatcher for the city street division.

The 2016 and 2018 blizzards each delivered a 13-inch punch to the community, with blowing and drifting snow piled high on street corners.

City crews were still picking up piles of snow that have been downtown for days.

The other two years, 2015 and 2017, the city didn’t even fire up its snow blowers, which are much faster in cleaning up the piles than scooping up the snow with other equipment and hauling it away.

The city relied on Koch Excavating, Johnson Excavating and Obrist Excavating trucks to remove piled snow from the downtown area during this latest storm, Rawhouser said. There were about a dozen dump trucks devoted to the downtown snow removal.

The next round of winter weather this weekend doesn’t appear to pose much of a problem for city and county road crews.

The National Weather Service is forecasting low temperatures with the chance of moisture for Friday and Saturday.

On Friday, the weather service predicts partly sunny skies with a low of 3 degrees with a high of 13. There is a 40 percent chance of light snow showers. Saturday’s weather picture includes a low of minus-2 and a high 16 with partly sunny skies and a 40 percent of snow showers early.

The weather service forecasts a low of 16 on Sunday morning with sunny skies and mercury climbing to 23 in the afternoon. The trend continues Monday with the daytime high rising to 35 degrees.

Platte County Assistant Highway Superintendent Terry Wicht said his crews had most of the rural roads are already open as they dealt with the blowing the drifting snow. The weekend forecast, he said, didn’t sound worrisome.

“By tonight (Wednesday) we’ll have all the snow cleaned off the roads and in the ditches,” said Wicht, adding the forecast he last heard predicted about 1 inch of snow. “We can keep ‘em open, that shouldn’t be a problem.”



Jim Osborn is a news reporter at The Columbus Telegram.

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