Travel is 'treacherous' across KAKEland

By: KAKE News / Associated Press - Email
By: KAKE News / Associated Press - Email
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A winter storm forecast to be the biggest of the season is spreading snow across Kansas, and causing difficult driving in some areas. EARP is in effect for Wichita.

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WICHITA, Kan. -- A winter storm forecast to be the biggest of the season is spreading snow across Kansas, and causing difficult driving in some areas.

The Emergency Accident Reporting Plan (EARP) is in effect for the City of Wichita. If you are involved in a non-injury accident, both vehicles are driveable and no alcohol is involved, exchange insurance information with the other driver. You then have 48 hours to fill out an accident report. Forms are available at area QuikTrip and Kwik Shop locations, as well as police substations. You can also fill out an online accident report by clicking here.

Wichita city crews are trying to stay ahead of the weather, but are having trouble keeping the emergency snow routes plowed due to the constant snowfall.

It's not just that, but they say the more traffic they have to share the road with, the harder it is for them to make progress. They're asking drivers to stay off the roads if possible.

EARP is also in effect for the City of Hutchinson.

Elsewhere, a bus slipped off Interstate 70 in Saline County around 5:00 a.m. Tuesday. It took around 90 minutes for a tow truck to pull it out so it could move on.

The Kansas Highway Patrol is discouraging travel between Hutchinson and Haven in Reno County due to slick roads and whiteout conditions. Troopers have worked numerous slide-offs in the area.

According to Pratt County Sheriff Vernon Chinn, all roads in that county are snow-covered and extremely slick including all state and federal highways. He reports visibility at a quarter mile or less and discourages all travel.

In Barton County, Sheriff Brian Bellendir reports treacherous road conditions. He is advising that motorists stay home unless travel is absolutely necessary, as deputies are reporting 100% snowpack on all county roads.

A "Phase One" Winter Storm Traffic Emergency has been declared in Hays, which means it is unlawful to park a vehicle on any street designated as an emergency snow route. In doing so, you risk receiving a citation or having your vehicle towed.

As of 11:30 a.m., AAA Kansas reports 119 calls for help, primarily in Topeka, Wichita and Lawrence.

KAKE meteorologist Frank Waugh forecasts Wichita will receive six to nine inches of snow before the storm dies down Tuesday night or Wednesday morning. North and east of Wichita, nine inches or more could fall.

Most schools in KAKEland called off classes Tuesday. They were part of a closing list on KAKE.com which topped 400 entries Tuesday morning.

Health experts at the University of Kansas Hospital are warning people to avoid overtaxing their hearts while shoveling snow.

With a winter storm bearing down on the region, the hospital said in a statement Monday that people clearing snow should be alert to dizziness, extreme fatigue, faintness and chest pains. Cardiologists say that even people in relatively good physical shape can be at risk during cold winter days.

Cardiologists say the dangers for the elderly can be especially high. They urged people to work up to outdoor chores, such as snow shoveling. And health experts said that people with known heart disease should exercise only as part of a health program overseen by their physician.

Stay with KAKE for the latest on this developing situation. We'll keep you up to date with our Interactive Radar and LIVE weather coverage. And don't forget to download the KAKE News app.

For a list of closings and delays, click here.

As the winter weather approaches, check road conditions in Wichita and across the state.

Upload weather pictures by clicking here.


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