Despite statewide disaster declarations and predictions of a catastrophic winter storm moving through northwest Missouri last week, actual damage in the Maryville area proved relatively minor.
But with more snow predicted over the next several days, the region is hardly out of the woods weather-wise.
Still, on the upside, both Nodaway County Sheriff Darren White and Maryville Public Safety Director Keith Wood said Thursday's heavy snowfall and gusting winds resulted in surprisingly few traffic accidents or other mishaps.
A space heater or faulty wiring, or both, was the likely cause of a house fire Thursday morning in Elmo, and snow conditions were also a factor in an injury accident Friday at the intersection of Highway 71 and Route CC just north of Maryville.
In addition a Burlington Junction man suffered moderate injuries in a one-vehicle crash Saturday night, but the Missouri State Highway Patrol did not state if the accident was weather related.
Otherwise, Wood said, local residents elected to take last week's threat of severe weather to heart by staying inside and off the streets.
Wood said he attributed an easy night after Thursday's blizzard "to the fact that people heeded the advice and the warnings to, if at all possible, stay at home. For the event we had, it was fairly quiet."
Maryville Public Safety did put more officers on the street during the storm, and patrol cars were a common site for anyone who did happen to be out. But except for making sure motorists refrained from parking along snow routes, police didn't have a lot to do.
"We beefed up just a little bit in anticipation," Wood said, "and we like it when we plan for something big and then don't need it."
Wood said he believed a few cars had to be towed for illegally parking along designated snow routes, but that most motorists who did so were simply notified by officers to move their vehicles and complied. He added that during a snow emergency Public Safety uses towing only as a last resort.
In order to notify owners of cars parked in prohibited zones, police often rely on dispatchers to track down phone numbers as well as Northwest Missouri State University security personnel, who are often able to supply contact information if the vehicle has a campus parking sticker.
Saturday's crash involved Jesse D. Christian, 23, who according to a patrol report was northbound on Highway 113 at Quitman in a 2004 Chevrolet Trailblazer.
Christian, who was not wearing a seat belt, reportedly lost control of the wheel and traveled off the west side of the pavement then struck an embankment, a guy-wire and a tree. He was taken by private vehicle to St. Francis Hospital & Health Services in Maryville.
Page 2 of 2 - The vehicle sustained extensive damage, according to the patrol report.
Friday's injury accident took place shortly before 9 a.m. when a southbound 2003 Ford Taurus driven by Terra E. Woolf, 18, Hopkins, failed to yield while crossing Highway 71 onto Business 71 at Route CC.
According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Woolf slid through the snow-covered intersection and was struck by an eastbound 1995 Chevrolet pickup outfitted with a snow blade. The Chevy was driven by Travis C. Pierson, 32, of Maryville.
The front of Woolf's car struck the left side of the pickup, causing it to knock over a stop sign. Both vehicles came to rest upright and facing east.
Woolf was taken by Nodaway County ambulance to St. Francis Hospital & Health Services, where she was treated for minor injuries. Pierson refused medical attention and said he would seek his own treatment. Both drivers were wearing seat belts.
The vehicles, described as having sustained minor damage, were towed from the scene. Cpl. T.B. Ziegler was assisted in working the accident by Maryville Public Safety and the Nodaway County Sheriff's Department.