The sunshine and warmer temperatures Tuesday were a Godsend for lake-area residents who suffered through one of the coldest, snowiest 36 hours in nearly three decades Sunday and Monday.
Weather prognosticators said Tuesday morning that many communities in this area reported temperatures that hadn't been seen in some 24 years. Every community in the lake area was well below zero Sunday and Monday nights, with Monday's high barely cracking 0 degrees. Strong winds resulted in wind chills of 15-25 below zero as well.
Snowfall totals averaged 7-10 inches around the lake, and lows Monday were between 10 and 13 degrees below zero with some isolated areas even colder.
The "polar vortex" identified by weather experts created few problems for motorists, road crews and emergency responders who went about their jobs diligently. Lake Ozark Police Chief Mark Maples, who said there were few issues for his officers.
Road crews were stymied by the bitterly cold weather Monday, basically holding off until Tuesday to complete their tasks.
"The only real issue was the temperatures rendering de-icing materials useless," Lake Ozark Public Works Director Matt Michalik said.
His department put down about 20 tons of material when the storm hit Sunday, but backed off later.
"I didn't want to waste a lot of material due to the forecasted temperatures Sunday night and Monday, knowing materials wouldn't work immediately," he explained.
The plan was to salt roads Tuesday morning since temperatures were expected to be about 30 degrees. He expected that to allow for significant thawing so workers to get the snowpack removed quickly. He reported one of the trucks slid into a ditch during the drifting and blinding storm Sunday, but was able to drive out with little damage.
Lake Ozark took delivery of 25 tons of salt Friday and 25 tons of salt Monday, with another 25 tons expected Tuesday.
"Our supply is good and I don't anticipate having any difficulty getting salt as of right now," he said.
About 1,300 Ameren Missouri customers in the Grand Glaize area of Osage Beach were without power for two or three hours Sunday night and early Monday morning.
Lori Hoelscher, Ameren Missouri Customer Service Advisor in Jefferson City, said the outage occurred when a substation malfunctioned due to the extreme cold about 11 p.m. Sunday. Power was restored about 1:15 a.m. to most areas.
Ameren officials were able to switch electric loads from one area to another to restore power while crews repaired the problem.
As of mid-morning Tuesday, there were still 24 customers in Camden County without power and 179 in Miller County.
Alan Sullivan, consulting engineer at Ameren Missouri's Bagnell Plant, said the cold did not have any significant impact on operation of the dam. The new transformers are designed to operate in cold weather, and performed well, he said.
Page 2 of 2 - Bagnell Plant workers spent time clearing ice and snow from the top of the dam to keep cranes operational and to keep the road cleared so plant workers and Lakeside line crews could get in and out of work areas.
Lake area plumbers were kept busy with broken water pipes due to the frigid temperatures.
As the weather warmed beginning Tuesday, plumbers expected even more calls as pipes thawed out and breaks were discovered.