KDOT crews on standby, prepared for winter weather
WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) - Kansas’s weekend forecast is leaving much of the state preparing for winter weather.
Friday, supplies like ice melt were not flying off the shelves at Westlake Ace Hardware in Wichita, but staff said they are hoping this weekend is busier.
“If there's snow on the ground, then they come in and this whole thing will be wiped out,” manager Brian Gramlich said.
The Kansas Department of Transportation said most of its crews are on standby for storms. The department is not pre-treating some highways this time around, including in the Wichita area.
“Every storm, we just have to watch it as it comes in,” KDOT Public Affairs Manager Tom Hein said. “We prepare for it differently each time.”
No matter where it snows the most, Hein said traveling on Kansas highways this weekend could be iffy. Before taking a trip, he said drivers should check KDOT’s KanDrive website for road conditions, just click here.
“It's a big state, and those areas that are north and west and even Southwest Kansas can see a little bit more winter than the rest of us,” KDOT Public Affairs Manager Tom Hein said.
KDOT is still dealing with a shortage of drivers. Hein said crews in charge of this storm would work 12-hour shifts until all affected highways are clear.
“We still can't guarantee that we can have every snowplow out there 24/7, across at least the Wichita area and many other areas of the state where staffing is a little bit lower than we'd like,” he said.
Hein said he does not expect a major severe weather event in the Wichita area. Because of the forecast, Westlake sales associate Emily Hoge said she was surprised Friday was “kind of a slow day.”
“They know it's Kansas, stick around, it'll change,” Hoge said. “We may or may not get it.”