A quick-moving winter storm that moved through the Kansas City area overnight dropped 2 to 3 inches of snow and caused many school districts on the metro area’s Missouri side to cancel classes Thursday.
By midmorning, most of the accumulating snow shifted to the south and east of Kansas City.
At 6 a.m., 1.9 inches of snow had fallen at Kansas City International Airport, and a final band that moved through later in the morning was expected to leave behind less than half an inch more.
The snowy and slick roads caused many school districts on the Missouri side of the metro area to cancel classes, including Kansas City, Belton, Grandview, Independence, Lee’s Summit, Liberty, Park Hill and North Kansas City.
Many of the schools on the Kansas side remained opened. Click here to read the complete list.
Kansas City, Kan., Public Schools was one of the districts that held classes Thursday.
“We make the decision based on whether or not we feel we can get the children to school safely and then get them home safely in the afternoon,” said David A. Smith, a spokesman for the district.
A lot goes into making the decision, so it isn’t simply the amount of snow, the temperature or the wind.
The districts on the Kansas side talk with one another to make a collective decision on closings because many districts have employees who live in neighboring districts.
If one district were to close and another remain open, staff members might not be able to work because they have children at home.
Roads were passable earlier Thursday morning, with at least one clear lane on the major highways. Other lanes of the highways and exit and entrance ramps, however, as well as residential streets remained covered. Road conditions continued to improve throughout the day.
The major highways on the Missouri side were partially covered, said Markl Johnson, a spokesman for the Missouri Department of Transportation.
“The secondary routes are still covered and we are working to get those cleared,” Johnson said. “So far, it’s looking pretty decent.”
Drivers, however, should not get overconfident, Johnson said.
“Even though it looks clear, there could be slick spots out there,” he said. “People still need to be driving below the posted speed limit.”
A Kansas Department of Transportation official said the roadways remained partially to completely snow-packed.
“The last three hours, conditions have improved as more pavement appeared,” said Kimberly Qualls, a spokeswoman for the Kansas Department of Transportation. “The treating that we are doing as well as the additional traffic is helping break up the snow.”
Although there have been some crashes, drivers appear to be heeding the advice to take the commute slower, she said.
Transportation officials on both sides of the state line urged drivers to brush all the snow off their cars before driving. They also requested that drivers give snowplows plenty of room so they could clear the roads.
Police and road crews also urged drivers to take it slow and allow extra time for their morning commutes.
The Clay County sheriff reported that in an eight-hour period, its communication center took 102 car crash or slide-off calls.
In Kansas City, crews were plowing neighborhood roads and salting hills and intersections. Plowing began on primary roads Wednesday night and continued Thursday.
Because of the snow, Kansas City has canceled its bulky item collection scheduled for Thursday. It will resume Friday.
The city also asked people not to park on the street when it snows. If people do, they are requested to park on the north and west sides to allow plows to get through the neighborhoods.
Crews at KCI were out all night clearing snow from runways. Airlines are going through the de-icing process, but there no delays on outbound flights. A few inbound flights were delayed, so travelers were urged to check www.flykci.com for flight information.
Also overnight, the Kansas City streetcar ran sweeper runs to keep the tracks and overhead wires clear of snow and ice. The streetcar service was running at 15 minute intervals.