The second major winter storm in less than a week is expected to continue through this afternoon, dropping at least 6 to 10 inches of snow on top of a city still weary from the last one.
Greater snowfall, as much as 15 inches, is possible south of Kansas City and eastward through central Missouri.
The National Weather Service also was predicting strong northerly winds up to 30 mph, which could create blizzard-like conditions.
“For your safety and the safety of our crews, we ask everyone to avoid travel unless it is a dire emergency,” said Elizabeth Wright of the Missouri Department of Transportation. “This will be different from last week’s storm. Strong winds will blow the snow around, creating a whiteout effect that makes travel extremely hazardous.”
Officials across the region were pleading with people to stay off the roads today, but there won’t be that many places to go anyway.
Most if not all schools, many governments and courts, and even some medical services were curtailed.
Municipal officials are urging people to park in driveways and off streets, if possible, so plows and emergency vehicles can get through. In Kansas City, people who must park in the street should try to park on the west side of north/south streets and on the north side of east-west streets.
Kansas City has declared an emergency through Wednesday night and began towing cars Monday if they posed safety hazards or stood to impede emergency vehicles. A list of locations the city has identified that need to be kept clear is available at www.kcmo.org
Work crews were set to plow major streets nonstop in 12-hour shifts. Residential plowing was to begin at 6 a.m. and will resume Wednesday if necessary.
Parents are asked to keep their children out of the streets when playing in the snow. Kansas City had a report of a plow truck trying to clear a cul-de-sac in the Northland over the weekend when seven or eight children emerged from a snow fort that had been built in the middle of the cul-de-sac.
Kansas City Hall will be closed today, but the city’s community centers will be open to serve as shelters.
More than 40 flights scheduled out of Kansas City today had already been canceled as of Monday afternoon. Flight status is available at www.flykci.com
Jackson County offices will be closed, as will Johnson County offices except the elections office. All Unified Government offices will be closed, too.
The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority canceled some express routes today. Service on other routes will be delayed until at least 7 a.m. Riders can check on routes at www.kcata.org or by calling 816-221-0660. The call center was to open at 5 a.m. today.
The Jo and the Unified Government Transit services also will be closed.
The University of Missouri-Kansas City canceled classes, as did Johnson County Community College and Park University. The Olathe campus of Kansas State University will be closed.
All Children’s Mercy Hospital outpatient clinics and urgent care centers are closed today. Anyone with scheduled same-day surgeries should call 816-234-3000 before coming in. Emergency services at Children’s Mercy Hospital on Hospital Hill and Children’s Mercy South will be available.
The Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center will also be closed today.
The University of Kansas Hospital will remain open for patient care. But all physician clinics in the medical office building on the hospital campus will be closed. All University of Kansas Cancer Center clinics will be closed for regular appointments and treatments, except for the treatment area at the center’s Westwood location, which will remain open. All of the hospital’s Mid America Cardiology offices in the region will be closed. The hospital’s network of Jayhawk Primary Care offices will be closed. For further information, patients may call 913-588-5000.
Other closures include:
• All Independence municipal offices and facilities are closed today. No meals will be served at the Palmer Center, 218-A N. Pleasant St. All court sessions for the Independence Municipal Court also have been canceled. To obtain information regarding rescheduled court dates call 816- 325-7235 or 816-325-7239.
• Blue Springs City Hall is closed today, but public safety personnel will continue to follow normal schedules. Vesper Hall Community Center, 400 N.W. Vesper St., will be closed to the public. Both home delivery and onsite meal programs offered through Vesper Hall will be suspended.
• Jackson County administrative offices and courts are closed today.
• Kansas City Municipal Court dockets are canceled today. People with court dates will be notified by mail of their schedule changes.
• Kansas City trash pickup will be suspended today and delayed a day for the rest of the week. Residents who did not receive regular trash pickup last week can put out four bags of trash this week without tags.
• District courts in Johnson and Wyandotte counties are closed.
• Meals on Wheels in Johnson County will be closed.
• Gardner City Hall is closed today, and tonight’s planning commission meeting has been canceled. Gardner Municipal Court proceedings scheduled for Feb. 27 have been rescheduled for March 27 at 5 p.m.
• Mission City Hall, the municipal court and the Sylvester Powell Jr. Community Center will be closed today. People with court dates will receive new dates through the mail.
• Prairie Village Municipal Court is canceled. Defendants whose last names begin with A through L are rescheduled for March 12. Defendants whose name begins with M through Z are rescheduled for March 19.
This story was written by The Star’s Matt Campbell with contributions from Glenn E. Rice, Lynn Horsley and Alan Bavley.