(KAKE) - The Kansas Department of Transportation has opened both directions of Interstate 70 in Kansas.

All highways have now been opened to traffic, though KDOT still urges drivers to use extra caution and avoid travel if possible as some winds and blowing dust are expected to continue into the evening. 

HAYS, Kan. (KAKE/AP) — The Kansas Department of Transportation has closed westbound Interstate 70 from Salina to the Colorado sate line.

KDOT said Wednesday afternoon that westbound I-70 is closed from Salina to Russell and in both directions from Russell to the Colorado state line. The closure is due to treacherous driving conditions including low visibility from blowing dust and crashes blocking the roadway. Drivers are advised delay travel if possible.

Trooper Tod Hileman with the Kansas Highway Patrol said drivers of high-profile vehicles should find a safe place to park until the weather calms down.


Other closures as of 2 p.m. include:

  • All state routes in the following counties: Cheyenne, Decatur, Gove, Logan, Rawlins, Sheridan, Sherman, Thomas and Wallace
  • U.S. 54 at milepost 33 about three miles east of Plains in Meade County due to low visibility
  • All highways out of Ulysses closed due to blowing dirt - includes U.S. 160 east and west as well as K-27 north and south
  • K-25 at milepost 38 in Grant County, from the Stevens/Grant county line north to Ulysses due to traffic crash
  • K-25 in the city of Lakin due to debris on the highway
  • U.S. 83 about seven miles south of Garden City due to downed power line
  • K-96 from the Colorado state line to K-27 at Tribune
  • U.S. 50 from K-27 to K-25 is closed

For up-to-date information on road closures and road conditions, visit kandrive.org, or call 511 in Kansas or 866-511-5368 outside Kansas.

The peak wind gust in the state as of 3:30 p.m. was 90 mph in Lenora. 


Much of the Midwest was bracing Wednesday for high winds, heavy rain and a chance of tornadoes as temperatures felt like summertime despite the official start of winter being only days away.

Forecasters across the Plains states predicted unusually warm weather, including likely record-breaking high temperatures in the mid-70s for much of Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa and parts of Missouri.

But the warmth comes with dangerously high winds and threats of violent storms, just on the heels of devastating tornadoes last weekend that cut a path through states including Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, Illinois and Kentucky, killing dozens of people.

The National Weather Service has issued a high wind warning along a swath stretching from New Mexico to upper Michigan with strong sustained winds between 25 mph and 40 mph expected. Gusts could reach more than 70 mph at times, the weather service reported.

Damaging winds are likely to bring down trees and power lines, making widespread power outages possible, the weather service warned. Some schools in Kansas and Nebraska canceled in-person classes and dozens of schools in Iowa planned to close early Wednesday in anticipation of bad weather.

“Travel will be very hazardous for high profiles vehicles, and delays are possible along Interstates due to overturned tractor trailers,” the weather service said.

Residents also were warned that outdoor holiday decorations could become hazardous projectiles in the strong winds. Officials urged people to bring in or secure decorations, trash cans and outdoor furniture.

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