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Midwest storm: Missouri covered in snow and ice

Midwest storm hit Missouri hard on Tuesday. State government is shutting down, due to the severity of the Midwest storm.

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Snow falls on the empty University of Missouri quadrangle Tuesday, Feb. 1, in Columbia. Mo. The university closed campus on Tuesday due to an approaching Midwest storm.

L.G. Patterson/AP Photo

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Potentially the worst winter storm to hit Missouri in decades began its trek across the state Tuesday, bringing surreal amounts of snow, freezing rain and blustery and dangerous cold temperatures.

By midday, parts of southwest Missouri already had more than a foot of snow. The storm was so bad in Polk County that emergency officials requested help from the National Guard.

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Snow was also piling up in mid-Missouri, prompting the state Legislature to shut down for the week.

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Missourians have been bracing for the storm for days, and it was living up the hype. The Missouri Department of Transportation said many major roads and interstates were covered with snow and or ice. State officials urged those who didn't need to get out to stay home.