Archive for Thursday, March 7, 2013

Five questions: Storms still on?

Motorists stuck in the snow between 71st and 75th streets on Quivira Road early Thursday afternoon created one of many traffic jams police responded to during the day. More severe weather could be on the way say state and weather officials.

Motorists stuck in the snow between 71st and 75th streets on Quivira Road early Thursday afternoon created one of many traffic jams police responded to during the day. More severe weather could be on the way say state and weather officials.

March 7, 2013

That’s definitely a possibility, say officials with the National Weather Service. Kim Qualls, public affairs manager with the Kansas Department of Transportation, addresses the recent snowstorms and what we can expect from the rest of winter.

Q: Are we through the worst?

A: The winter season is not over by any means and we cannot predict what future weeks may bring. A National Weather Service Kansas City tweet from just last week: “Are we done with snow? Odds say probably not. KC sees a 1” or greater snowfall in March or April 2 out of every 3 years.”

Q: How bad has it been really?

A: The first storm was the most dangerous overall for the KC metro area due to the fact that the snow fell during morning rush hour at the rate of 3-4 inches per hour, causing limited to no visibility and stranding motorists all over the metro, as well as throughout many northeast Kansas counties.

Q: What did KDOT road crews do to clear the snow after the past two snowstorms?

A: KDOT utilized 48 snowplows round-the-clock via 12-hour shift crews to clear the highways in the KC metro area (Johnson/Leavenworth/Wyandotte counties).

Q: What can drivers do?

A: Before a storm, drivers can prepare as follows:

• Fill their vehicle’s gas tank completely full, make sure tires are properly inflated, windshield wipers are in working order, etc.

• Make sure they have their emergency preparedness kits for their vehicles ready, including a fully charged cell phone.

Q: These storms have been quite a jolt for Kansans. What’s the takeaway here?

A: Last winter was so mild in northeast Kansas that these current major winter storms did remind us all quickly of the hazardous conditions that winter weather can bring to our roadways and our daily commutes.

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