TOPEKA (KSNT) – The New Year came in like a lion Saturday morning with bitterly cold temperatures and wind chills in the negatives.
KSNT meteorologist Ryan Matoush is predicting sleet and snow likely for a majority of the day. Snow will then be present through the end of the day today before tapering off late this evening. The heaviest snowfall will be in the morning.
By 6:30 a.m. Saturday morning nearly three thousand people in the KSNT viewing area were without power. Around 4:30 a.m. customers from Americus to Allen were without power and almost 2,500 residents were without power from Lyndon to Richter. At 8 a.m. that number ranged from 500 to 2,000 residents still without power.
Evergy predicted the restoration time was 7:45 this morning.
No reason was given for the outages.
Shawnee County Emergency Management is warning residents of dangerous wind chills and hazardous travel. According to SnCo Emergency Mgmt. wind chills shouldn’t climb above 10 degrees and could dip as low as -20 degrees.
There were several incidents early on the Kansas Turnpike and speeds averaged around 40 mph. KTA alerts notified motorists of delays near Admire and eastbound lanes near Lawrence. Just after 5 a.m., all eastbound lanes had to exit at Lawrence exits 202 or 204. By 7 a.m. all lanes were clear.
Snowfall accumulation was minimal, but counties south of Shawnee saw heavy ice settle on roads making driving extremely hazardous. The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office encouraged vehicles to slow down and put more distance between vehicles.