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Deep Freeze Causing Multiple Problems

Associated Press - January 6, 2014 3:09 pm

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Kansas farmers are coping with frigid conditions as they look after cattle herds.

Most Kansas ranchers have not begun calving yet. But the lack of snow on the ground means cattle can stay dry and better weather the subzero weather.

But it also means there is little protective cover for exposed winter wheat crops. It will be spring before farmers know the full extent of freeze damage.

The National Weather Service says Garden City and Cottonwood Falls had the state’s lowest temperatures early Monday at minus 12 degrees.

Temperatures elsewhere varied widely, with southeast and northeast Kansas seeing lows around minus 11 degrees. It was minus 5 degrees in Wichita at 6:25 a.m. Monday.

Concerns about the homeless in northeast Kansas have risen as temperatures have plummeted.

Topeka Rescue Mission Executive Director Barry Feaker said Monday that arctic weather has made its outreach efforts more urgent. The mission had a team of four people out looking for homeless Topeka residents.

Feaker said the mission sends the team out regularly to connect the homeless to services and to offer them shelter. He said the team went to encampments late last week to warn residents that frigid weather was coming.

In some cases, the mission will help with warmer clothing and tents if people won’t leave the streets.

Feaker said more than 300 people stayed at the rescue mission Sunday night, with at least a few new residents because of the weather.

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