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Kansas begins to dig out as bitter winter storm system leaves st - KOAM TV 7

Kansas begins to dig out as bitter winter storm system leaves state; dangerous conditions remain

Updated:

NEWS RELEASE ISSUED BY THE OFFICE OF THE KANSAS ADJUTANT GENERAL

KANSAS BEGINS TO DIG OUT AS BITTER WINTER STORM SYSTEM LEAVES STATE; DANGEROUS CONDITIONS REMAIN

One would be hard-pressed to find any large area of Kansas without a white covering Wednesday morning after a major winter storm system swept across the state Tuesday, dumping as much as 15 inches of snow in some areas.

“Although the snow has moved on, road and weather conditions are still dangerous, especially with bitter cold temperatures and wind chills,” said Maj. Gen. Lee Tafanelli, the adjutant general and director of the Kansas Division of Emergency Management. “If you don’t have to travel today, we urge you stay home and let the snow plow crews get the roadways cleared.”

“If you have to be outside to shovel snow, be aware that wind chills are extremely dangerous,” said Tafanelli. “Bundle up, use a buddy system to keep an eye on each other and take frequent warming breaks.”

Current snowfall totals for Kansas are:

  • Northwest –up to six inches
  • Southwest – up to nine inches
  • North Central – two to 15 inches
  • South Central – two to 12 inches
  • Northeast/Kansas City Metro – up to 14 inches
  • Southeast – up to eight inches

In addition to the snow accumulations, wind chill factors are pushing the temperatures to as much as 30 degrees below zero in parts of the state.

State EOC resumes normal operations today

The Kansas Division of Emergency Management activated the State Emergency Operations Center in Topeka and staffed it overnight Feb. 4, monitoring weather conditions and maintaining contact with county emergency managers across the state. The SEOC deactivated at 3 p.m. this afternoon, going from a 24-hour operations to normal operations.

Gov. Sam Brownback signed a State of Disaster Emergency declaration for the entire state Tuesday. State offices were closed in Topeka Tuesday and Wednesday.

Kansas National Guard mission concludes

The Kansas National Guard deployed nine teams consisting of two humvees and four Soldiers each to transport emergency and medical personnel and assist stranded motorists. The teams were standing by to assist in Dodge City, Emporia, Hays, Hiawatha, Iola, Kansas City, Kan., Salina, Topeka and Wichita. Their mission concluded at noon today without any counties requesting Guard assistance.

Three Fatalities on Kansas Roadways

The Kansas Highway Patrol confirmed a third fatality as a result of the winter storm. Kansas Highway Patrol officials say the death resulted from a two-vehicle injury accident that occurred Feb. 4 at 7:49 a.m. in Harvey County on I-135 just north of Hesston. The accident appears to be weather-related. The driver of one of the vehicles, a 58 year old man from Mound Ridge, was taken to an area hospital and died overnight from his injuries, according to Maj. John Eichkorn, Kansas Highway Patrol.

Two other fatalities were reported Feb. 4 in Crawford County when two cars collided south of Pittsburg on U.S. 69. The driver in one car, a 59 year old woman from Pittsburg, and a passenger in the other car, a 67 year old woman from Parson, were both killed. Kansas Highway Patrol officials say weather appears to be a factor in the collision.

Highway Assistance Available from KHP and KTA:

Those individuals who must travel and who become stranded, are encouraged to stay in the vehicle, keep fresh air circulating through a downwind window, run the motor sparingly, turn on the dome light, and stimulate circulation and stay awake by moving arms and legs. If you leave the car, walk slowly in the snow to avoid over-exertion and the risk of a heart attack. If you have a cell phone, call a Kansas Highway Patrol by dialing *HP (47), or *KTA (582) while on the Kansas Turnpike.

Road Conditions Available from the Kansas Department of Transportation:

Check conditions and view road conditions before traveling. Conditions are available through the Kansas Department of Transportation by going to www.kandrive.org or on a mobile device, go to http://511mm.ksdot.org. You may also call 5-1-1 from any phone.

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