Crews treating Wichita roads, preparing for more winter weather

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Residents throughout much Kansas dealt with dangerous weather conditions on Tuesday, and Wichita road crews are preparing for another possible round of winter weather.

Freezing rain and sleet led to several reported accidents and many schools closed. Jordan Sanders was out in the mess to help businesses treat icy parking lots.

"It's pretty busy. We weren't expecting the weather to turn to ice," the owner of Xtreme Lawn and Landscape said. "The hourly forecast kept saying just above freezing, so we thought it was going to come in as rain."

Since Monday night, Wichita crews have been putting down a salt-sand mix to melt accumulating precipitation. But the rain caused a bit of a problem. 

"A lot of precipitation came down fairly heavy and washed some of that treatment off the road, said Director of Public Works Alan King. "So, essentially we started over in the some of the areas of the city."

As another round threatens to hit Wichita, city crews will be working road on 12-hour shifts.

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"We'll have people on call and available and we'll be flexible in terms of our reaction," King said. "It depends on when the precipitation actually comes. We want to make sure to the extent we can, can get some material down on the roads."

Just like the city, Sanders' eyes will be focused on the forecast.

"We'll go back to the shop and kind of reload for what looks like might be coming for the next few days."

Dozens of car accidents happened throughout the morning. KAKE First Alert Storm Tracker JD Stewart stopped to get video of a jack-knifed semi when his SUV was hit by another semi. 

"I had my seatbelt on and all the sudden I got flipped forward," Stewart said. "The next thing I know I get broadsided on the left side of my vehicle."

Stewart was taken to a Via Christi Hospital in downtown Wichita; the hospital reports around 20 people came to their emergency rooms across the city because of injuries sustained from car accidents and slips and falls.  

KAKE First Alert will keep you up to date with our Interactive Radar and local forecast videos. Get those features and more on the free First Alert Weather App. With the app you can track storms in your area, stream the latest forecast videos and live severe weather coverage, and set customized alerts to keep you and your family informed and safe.

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

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