Tuesday, February 19, 2013
As preparations for the arrival of a major winter storm continue across Kansas, the Kansas Highway Patrol offers advice to motorists who cannot avoid traveling during the storm.
Trooper Ryan Tauer said drivers who must be out during the storm should make sure their cell phones are fully charged before going anywhere. Having a charger around is a good idea as well, he said.
"A blanket in the car's always good," Tauer said. "You can have fresh water in case you do find yourself in a snow drift. It will help you be more comfortable until we can get there to help you out."
Even though the Kansas Department of Transportation spent much of Tuesday pre-treating highways, it will be hard for crews to keep up with the storm in some areas of the state. That could make roads dangerous and even impassable.
"You should only be out if you need to get to work or school or whatnot," Tauer said. "But stay home. It's the best thing to do. It's nice and warm there. You're going to be safe at home."
Road preparations were underway Tuesday in the city of Wichita as well. Aaron Henning, an engineer with the city's public works department told KAKE News city street crews would begin working 12-hour shifts at midnight Tuesday and continue until streets are clear after the storm has passed.
Arterial streets -- Rock Road, Webb Road and Central, for example -- receive priority treatment. Other high-volume streets like Second Street and Ninth Street are next for snow removal. Crews will then move to residential streets that lead to schools.
Henning said city crews will respond to requests to plow residential streets if those streets are truly impassable.
Tauer says no matter where they're driving, motorists need to give themselves plenty of time. He said that's a tip sometimes overlooked. The State Trooper also cautioned against what he called misconceptions held by some drivers of four-wheel drive vehicles.
"They think that they can drive the speed limit if need be," he said. "Well, four-wheel drive helps you get going in the snow, but you stop just as slow as you would if you were a two-wheel drive car."