Breaking News

Snow packs roads across the metro area and keeps on falling

Updated: 2013-02-26T16:28:29Z

By ROBERT A. CRONKLETON

The Kansas City Star

Roads across the metropolitan area have becomes slicked and snow-packed as snow from the second major winter storm moves across the Kansas City area.

“Delay, delay, delay the day and push everything back,” said Steve Porter, senior customer relations specialist with the Missouri Department of Transportation.

If you don’t have to get out, Porter suggests staying home. Snow is expected to continue to fall through the rush hour.

“We have been staying right up with the snow — we are not ahead of it by any means,” Porter said before 6 a.m. “There’s about 7 inches of snow in Cass County, where there was the heaviest snowfall.

“About 5 inches of snow north of the river at KCI airport. We have been pushing it all night,” he said.

Unlike the first storm where people abandoned their cars, road crews have not been impeded by a high number of stranded or stalled vehicles.

“Most of the people were off the roads overnight, which made it much better for crews to push the snow through the night,” Porter said.

But the high wind, which was not a factor in the previous storm, is expected to cause drifting snow.

“We suggest people stay off the highway and out of the way while we do the work,” he said. “Crews will continue to plow after snowfall ends. We will have a lot of drifting and a lot of pushing the snow off the main lines.”

The priorities are to make sure the major highways and interstates are passable, then crews will focus more on the shoulders and minor routes.

“We hope to be on top of that by mid- to late-afternoon — maybe sooner if the we get cooperation from the wind,” Porter said.

In Kansas, the roads are snow-packed and are going to be that way for a while, said Kimberly Qualls, Northeast Kansas public affairs manager for the Kansas Department of Transportation.

“Crews are plowing, plowing and plowing,” she said. “We can’t start treating the roads (with chemicals) until the plowing is done.”

Snowplows have been driving side-by-side, but when they go back, the roads are covered back up because of the drifting snow.

“We encourage drivers to stay home,” she said. “That is the best thing to do today. The storm will move out at some time, but until then it’s not pretty out there at all.”

Road conditions in the Kansas City Metropolitan area and Douglas County are completely snow packed with ice. Topeka is reporting wet and slushy conditions.

“With the wind, there can be low visibility to white-out conditions,” she said. “There’s lots and lots of snow.”

The bulk of the snow is expected to end around 9 a.m., but snow showers are expected later in the day and into Wednesday, Porter said.

Kansas City police dispatchers said they were on the scene of a non-injury crash at North Chouteau Trafficway and North Belmont Road before 6 a.m.

Meanwhile, Overland Park police said they had reports of a couple of crashes, but none were serious.

There are reports of the occasional stalled vehicles and tractor-trailers, which are more on the exit ramps.

“The big snowstorm is expected to push out of here before noon,” Porter said. “But the horizontal snow caused by high winds will continue until sunset.”

To reach Robert A. Cronkleton, call 816-234-4261 or email bcronkleton@kcstar.com

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