Kansas Adjutant General's Department
Contact: Public Affairs Office- Catherine Horner
Email: catherine.f.horner.nfg@mail.mil

(785) 646-1192
13-021 Massive winter storm moves into Kansas; road closures beginning

A second round of severe winter storms has begun to move into Kansas with the potential to drop a foot or more of snow in many areas.

Heavy snow is developing over the Texas/Oklahoma panhandles, and is expected to progress into the state from southwest to northeast through the next 24-36 hours. Snowfall amounts in excess of one foot are possible in the vicinity of the I-35 / Kansas Turnpike corridor southwest to Dodge City, tapering to three to six inches in the southeast and northwest regions. The potential exists for snowfall of 18-24 inches in south central counties. The storm system will likely move out of the state by mid-afternoon on Tuesday.

"Take this storm seriously," said Governor Sam Brownback. "Postpone travel plans if you are in the path of the heaviest predicted snow. If you must travel, don’t get on the road without a charged cell phone, a full tank of gas and an emergency kit with food, water and other essentials."

"Our State Emergency Operations Center is monitoring this closely," said Maj. Gen. Lee Tafanelli, the adjutant general and director of the Kansas Division of Emergency Management. "We have National Guard troops standing by ready to assist and are in constant communication with county emergency managers."

Road Conditions

The Kansas Department of Transportation has closed some roads in southwest Kansas due to hazardous driving conditions and low visibility. The closures so far are:

  • U.S. 160 from Meade to Coldwater
  • U.S. 283 from the Kansas-Oklahoma state line to Minneola
  • U.S. 183 from the Kansas-Oklahoma state line to Coldwater
  • K 34 from the junction of U.S. 160/U.S. 183/K-34, north to Bucklin

The following roads are closed southbound at the state line, but remain open in Kansas:

  • US-54 west of Liberal
  • US-56 at Elkhart
  • US-83 at Liberal
  • K-25 in Stevens County
  • K-23 in Meade County

Many roads in southwest Kansas and eastward are snow packed and icy, including U.S. 50 from Cimarron to Newton and U.S. 54 from Liberal to Pratt. Use caution if traveling and check road conditions first. Call 5-1-1 or go online to www.kandrive.org. For tips on winter driving, go to www.kansashighwaypatrol.org.

Tuesday Elections

Tuesday, Feb. 26, is Election Day. Secretary of State Kris Kobach said he is encouraging people to submit an advance voting ballet. He will extend the deadline to turn in advance ballots to 7 p.m. today (Monday), rather than noon.

Local county officials will determine how elections will proceed based on their contingency plans. Andrew Howell, Shawnee County election commissioner, announced all voting on Tuesday for the City Primary Election will be held in Heritage Hall at the Kansas Expocentre at 17th and Topeka Boulevard from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Anyone with questions regarding voting in their jurisdiction should call their local election commissioner or county clerk.

State Offices

Due to the impending storms, Gov. Sam Brownback announced state executive branch offices are closed in 67 western and central counties all day Monday. The governor will stay in contact with officials in the Kansas Division of Emergency Management and may make further announcements as the situation warrants.

Some counties have closed government offices and several school districts have cancelled classes for Monday, as well.

State Disaster Declaration

Governor Brownback signed a State of Disaster Emergency declaration for the entire state on Wednesday. That declaration is being amended to include the current storm period. In addition to the governor’s declaration, 11 counties issued local declarations which are still in force. Those counties were Anderson, Chase, Franklin, Linn, Lyon, Pottawatomie, Osage, Riley, Shawnee, Wabaunsee and Wyandotte.

Power Outages

Although there is the potential for power outages due to high winds, no storm-related outages have been reported so far. Westar Energy reported it is preparing crews to work safely in adverse conditions and contacting line contractors in case additional personnel are needed. If widespread outages occur, a centralized communication center will be established to coordinate work and resources to restore power to our customers. Once power is restored in one area, crews will be reassigned to other areas as needed.

Westar encouraged customers to keep mobile phones charged and have a storm kit prepared in case of extended power outages. Westar customers may report power outages to 1-800-LIGHT-KS (1-800-544-4857). This automated line will accept thousands of calls an hour and enter outage reports directly into our work order system. Outages may also be reported online or via a mobile phone at www.WestarEnergy.com if you have a registered account.




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