Some travelers hit the road early to avoid winter storm

By: Phil White Email
By: Phil White Email

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WICHITA, Kan. -- A winter storm expected to bring ice and snow to Kansas could cause problems for people planning to drive to their holiday destinations.

Anticipating that storm, some travelers decided to begin their journeys early.

"Ice is ice," said Chris Pittman of Minneapolis, Minn. "I don't care if you're from Minneapolis or wherever."

The tricky travel brought on by ice is why Pittman was glad he and his family were coming through Kansas Thursday on their way to spend Christmas in Texas.

"We're going to miss all of the freezing rain and snow and stuff," he said.

Because some drivers will have no choice but to confront the ice and snow, Kansas Department of Transportation crews will be working 12-hour shifts until the storm system has moved on.

"There's enough salt down from our salt brine that I think we are in good shape right now for the start of the storm, but as soon as that storm comes in with any heft at all, our crews will be out and we'll fight it until it's over," said Tom Hein, KDOT spokesman.

Some motorists did not want to fight the storm, including Mike Funke. He is on leave from the Army and was traveling back home to Garden Plain from North Carolina Thursday.

"We kind of headed south a little bit instead of coming through Tennessee," he said. "Just kind of swung south and came up through Arkansas."


Transportation leaders remind drivers to proceed with caution and to follow these tips:

-Plan extra time to reach your destination
-Keep your vehicle in proper working order
-Slow down in slick conditions, allow for extra stopping distances
-Clear windows and windshield of ice, snow and other obstructions
-Stay away from safety equipment on the roads.

For more information on the winter weather coming our way, click here for the latest from the KAKE First Alert forecasters.

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For a list of closings and delays, click here. If you have a closing or delay to report, email us details and the password to

Click here for road conditions in Wichita and here for conditions across the state.

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