City of Wichita crews prepare for more winter weather

By: KAKE News - Email
By: KAKE News - Email

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WICHITA, Kan. — Crews with the City of Wichita are preparing for another round of winter weather this weekend.

Deputy Director of Public Works Joe Pajor said approximately 100 employees and 50 trucks are preparing for a possible winter storm.

Pajor says, "We're ready to do what we need to do to address this storm event."

According to KAKE First Alert Meteorologist Frank Waugh, precipitation is expected to roll into Wichita late Saturday. A brief period of freezing rain will be possible before changing over to sleet. A prolonged period of sleet could make for slick conditions on area roads and as temperatures fall, sleet will change over to snow for the day on Sunday.

Accumulation of both sleet and snow is anticipated for Wichita. Many questions exist on the timing and track of this system and both factors will greatly impact the total accumulation. Because of the uncertainty, city crews are currently on eight-hour shifts but are on-call for 12-hour shifts depending on what unfolds beginning late Saturday.

Pajor said crews began pre-treating the city's emergency routes with brine on Tuesday, which helps attack snow or ice so it doesn't stick to the pavement. They will continue to use brine until precipitation begins, then switch over to the salt-sand mixture.

Pajor said the salt-sand inventory is much better than the last storm. The city currently has 5,500 tons available. Pajor says, "We have a storage capacity of 6,000 tons. So we are very near to full."

The city will continue to adapt to the storm and constantly reevaluate how best to treat the roads based on conditions. Pajor said the city is also prepared for a possible ice event as well, and ready for ice on roadways or tree limbs that may fall.

Keep it with KAKE for the latest on the winter weather.

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For a list of closings and delays, click here.

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