A widespread blizzard dumped heavy snow, caused numerous crashes, and prompted roads to be closed across Kansas including a long stretch of Interstate 70.
In Salina about 7 inches of snow fell. Mixed with strong wind, including a peak gust of 62-miles-per-hour recorded at the Salina Regional Airport, driving quickly became dangerous. Snow covered roads at at times there was zero visibility. First responders stayed busy working numerous crashes.
In the 600 block of Highland a large tree was blown over, landing in a yard, driveway, and on the back of a flatbed truck.
As the storm moved across, border to border, it caused similar problems across the state.
Governor Jeff Colyer issued a Disaster Emergency declaration for the state in response to the winter storm. The declaration authorizes the use of state resources and personnel to assist with response and recovery operations in affected counties.
The Kansas Division of Emergency Management activated the State Emergency Operations center in Topeka to a partial level, to monitor the weather and coordinate any state emergency response operations that might be requested.
The Kansas Department of Transportation reported multiple road closures due to visibility. For an updated list of road conditions go to the Kansas Department of Transportation web site at http://kandrive.org. Winter road conditions are accessible by dialing 5-1-1 from your mobile phone anywhere in Kansas; outside Kansas call 1-866-511-5368 (KDOT).
KDEM has been receiving reports of vehicles getting stuck in the snow and those individuals leaving their vehicles and walking in the storm. The safest place for travelers is to remain in their vehicle. Do not get out of your vehicle and walk because road crews may not see you due to visibility issues. Stay in your vehicle, make sure your exhaust pipe is clear and not clogged with snow or ice debris or you run the risk of filling your vehicle is carbon monoxide. Run your car sparingly while you are waiting on help. Keep the window cracked. If you are stuck in the snow call the Kansas Highway Patrol by dialing *HP (47), or *KTA (582) while on the Kansas Turnpike.
The Kansas National Guard has Stranded Motorists Assistance Response Teams in nine locations throughout the state. The SMART teams, which consist of two High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWVs) and four Guardsmen, are assisting local law enforcement with patrolling impacted roads and assisting with stranded motorists.
Westar Energy and Midwest Energy are reporting power outages across multiple counties in the western and northeastern portions of the state. Restoration time for these outages is unknown.
City of Salina crews at work.
Posted by Newsradio 1150 KSAL on Sunday, November 25, 2018