Kansas City was shaken out of its usual routine early Thursday morning as commuters woke to nearly 5 inches of snow in some areas, marking the first substantial storm of the season.
Major highways like I-70 and I-35 were closed at various points during the morning due to accidents. Two semi-trucks overturned when driving on snow-packed roads and halted traffic according to the Missouri Department of Transportation. Widespread accidents and slide-offs were reported during commuting hours.
"What makes it seem unusual is it's the first general snowfall of the season for the area," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said. "The first snowstorms of the year are always a challenge for motorists as they have to get used to adjusting their plans."
Kansas City officials sent social media posts stressing the importance of leaving early and driving slow before the rush of the morning commute.
TODAY'S AM Commute Reminder: Get up early, allow extra time for ur drive, take it SLOW, stay a safe distance from other vehicles. #kswx— KCMetroKDOT (@KansasCityKDOT) December 18, 2014
Local school districts canceled school and activities for Thursday.
This storm brought nearly enough snow to reach the average total for the month of 5 inches. According to Sosnowski, that snow typically falls over the course of one of two storms.
So this is not just a dusting! #snow #kc #kcmo #kansascity pic.twitter.com/HZdSYRIQ9D— Rachael K Brown (@rachaelkbrown) December 18, 2014