KHP responds to nearly 1,000 calls during Kansas blizzard
KANSAS (KAKE) - The aftermath of the dangerous winter storms Monday night could still be seen all around Wichita Tuesday. While road crews had the highways nearly clear, truck drivers like Kent Carter were still stuck.
"It doesn't make any sense to go any further cause I-70 from Salina to Oakley, Kansas is closed," Carter said Tuesday afternoon.
On his way to Denver to finish a job, Carter just had to wait.
"I'm on I-70. This is westbound I-70 as far west as you can go," Trooper Ben Gardner with KHP said in a Twitter video Tuesday morning as the violent wind ripped his hat off.
As the storm wreaked havoc on western Kansas, Gardner and dozens of KHP troopers spent all night morning responding to calls and rescuing stranded drivers.
As of Monday evening, Gardner says KHP had 959 service calls with 188 non-injury crashes, 26 injury crashes, and amazingly, 0 fatal crashes. The KHP initially reported 48 injury crashes but later corrected that number.
Nearly a full day later, truckers like Carter were still stuck just north of Wichita, waiting for I-70 to open. After driving professionally for over four decades, Carter has some advice for other drivers.
"Get off the road as soon as possible if it gets too slick. You know, I've stayed out of ditches and everything because I get off the road. And don't fight the weather because it's gonna win," said Carter.