State officials prepare for snow in addition to frigid temps

Capitol Bureau

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – The Kansas Department of Transportation is preparing for snow for most of the state. The cold weather is changing how it could manage the roads.

“Depending on the temperatures, the amount of wind, and if it’s a dry snow, if you don’t put chemicals out, it’ll just keep blowing across the cold road, and so we just have to keep the accumulations pushed back,” said Jaci Vogel, bureau chief of maintenance for KDOT.

Plowing will be the biggest task for those working to keep the roads clear. Normally trucks would put down salt mixtures beforehand, but that loses its purpose to prevent freezing when it gets this cold.

“With these extreme cold temperatures, it’s not warranted, because it wouldn’t be effective. So our tools in our toolbox are very reduced,” Vogel said.

The Kansas Division of Emergency Management is encouraging people to stay at home if they can because you don’t want to get stuck in this weather.

“These temperatures are deadly, and it is not safe to be outside for extended periods of time, and that includes if you were to become stranded on a road if you were driving out in winter weather,” said Devan Tucking, response and recovery services section chief for KDEM.

Tucking said to prepare for the worst.

“Keep in mind that the unexpected could happen and it’s very, very dangerous for that to occur right now,” Tucking said. “If you do get stranded, try to leave a light on in your vehicle, try to stay warm, and then call for help, and make sure you do not leave your vehicle to try to walk for help.”

Officials also said to be prepared at home with food and water and to make sure animals are taken care of.

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