TOPEKA - Weather forecasts show bitterly cold temperatures and several inches of snow are expected in areas across the state from today to Monday night. The Kansas Department of Transportation encourages the public to limit travel because these conditions can be dangerous for motorists as well as cause issues for highway workers who are working to clear the roads.
For motorists who get stuck, frost bite can happen much quicker with the cold air and wind chills, especially for those not prepared. Making sure a winter supply kit is fully stocked in all vehicles is important. A few basic items include blankets, flashlight, batteries, snacks, water, first-aid kit, ice scraper, jumper cables and sand/kitty litter for traction.
“For the safety of both motorists and our workers, we would encourage the public to limit travel,” said KDOT Emergency Management Coordinator Jim Frye. “These conditions can be life-threatening for travelers.”
With the extremely low temperatures, dry snow will likely blow across the roadways with wind gusts of 20 mph or more predicted during this time. Blowing snow also can reduce visibility even more at night.
“Crews will clear the highways, but winds will blow the snow back, making it more difficult and time consuming for our crews to do their jobs efficiently,” Frye said.
Due to the extreme cold, the effectiveness of liquid salt brines and granular salts is diminished significantly and hinders the melting process on bridges and roadways. In addition, any snow or ice melting that does occur could result in refreeze within minutes.
Please check local weather forecasts regularly for updates and changes. Check KDOT’s traveler information website, KanDrive, that is updated 24/7 for current Kansas road conditions. The website is www.KanDrive.org
Pepare yourself and your family, your companion animals, and livestock to ensure a plan is in place.
“During extremely cold weather or winter storms, staying warm and safe can be a challenge,” Gov. Laura Kelly said. “Winter storms can bring cold temperatures, power failures, loss of communication services, and icy roads. It is never too late to prepare your home and your car before a winter storm hits and keep yourself and your loved ones safe.”
Assemble an emergency kit for your home that includes a battery-operated radio, a flashlight and extra batteries, extra blankets and warm clothing, food that you can open and prepare easily, and plenty of clean drinking water (at least one gallon per person per day), in case water supply lines are compromised.
Keep an emergency supply kit in your car with these automobile extras: jumper cables, flares or reflective triangle, ice scraper, car cell phone charger, blanket, map, and cat litter or sand (for better tire traction).
Avoid travel if you can.
For a complete list of items for an emergency kit for your home and vehicle, go to www.ready.gov