Archive for Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Ice puts city in deep freeze

Know what to keep around in case power goes out, car gets stuck

Kansas University students make their way down Jayhawk Boulevard under the glow of the icy trees lining the walkway Monday on the KU campus.

Kansas University students make their way down Jayhawk Boulevard under the glow of the icy trees lining the walkway Monday on the KU campus.

December 11, 2007

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Threat of icy weather causes supermarket rush

The clouds hanging over Lawrence all day Monday started spitting freezing rain just a few minutes before predicted. But residents rushed to the stores before the roads became slick. Enlarge video

Lawrence suffered through severe ice storm in 2002

It's been nearly 6 years since an ice storm of this magnitude rolled through Lawrence. Enlarge video

Matt Elwell's weather forecast

View Matt Elwell's 5:30 a.m. weather forecast. Enlarge video

Ice scrapers and gloves are obvious winter necessities. But some local pros say kitty litter and peanut butter and jelly can be helpful additions to any cold-weather arsenal.

Kitty litter? It's a quick fix for getting traction on icy sidewalks, said Linda Cottin, owner of Cottin's Hardware and Rental, 1832 Mass.

"If you're going to throw down something for traction, you should throw down sand or kitty litter," Cottin said.

And PBJs? They don't require electricity to prepare, so they'll come in handy if the power goes out, Cottin said.

The overnight storm sent a shiver of worry across the region Monday, and the Journal-World gathered advice from those seasoned in prepping and coping with winter's wrath.

For the car, the Kansas Department of Transportation suggests packing a survival kit with items including matches, a flashlight, jumper cables, blankets, a first aid kit and salt.

"If you slide somewhere, and you get stuck, you can put that salt down under your tires to get out," said Kim Qualls, KDOT public affairs manager. "The tires react with the salt, and between the friction of the tire and salt, it'll help start melting the ice."

Lt. Kari Wempe of the Douglas County Sheriff's Office said motorists should keep their gasoline tanks at least half full. And hats, gloves, dry foods, and a cell phone and charger are must-haves in the car.

At home, the biggest concerns when a storm hits are heat, light and food, Cottin said.

She suggested having a heat source such as a wood stove or kerosene heater, foods that don't require a stove to prepare, flashlights with fresh batteries, and candles.

When the bad weather comes, motorists caught on the roads should take extra precautions, said Jim Hanni, executive vice president for AAA Kansas.

"We don't drive on ice every day so we're not as used to it," he said. "It's just very difficult to maintain control of the vehicle."

Wempe suggested using extra caution on bridges and overpasses. And, she said, motorists should remember that four-wheel drive won't help on ice.

Care in your car

On its Web site, the Kansas Department of Transportation offers these tips for motorists stranded in a winter storm: Don't panic; stay in your vehicle; keep fresh air circulating; keep active; turn on your dome light; and don't allow all occupants to sleep at the same time.

The latest information on road and weather conditions is available by calling 511.

Drivers heading out in less-than-ideal conditions should tell someone the route they plan to take, according to Lt. Kari Wempe of the Douglas County Sheriff's Office.

Comments

kcowell 7 years, 3 months ago

Another handy tip, carry asphalt shingles in your car, slide them under the wheel needing traction...works like a charm! Stay safe all!

Aileen Dingus 7 years, 3 months ago

"motorists should remember that four-wheel drive won't help on ice."

This bears repeating. Daily. In big letters. :)

John Spencer 7 years, 3 months ago

The roads are fine. "motorists should remember that four-wheel drive won't help on ice." By that logic then, "0" wheel drive should work best....

salad 7 years, 3 months ago

"motorists should remember that four-wheel drive won't help you stop or turn better on ice." fixed

It definitely helps you get moving better. Audi quattro powah rules!!!

coolmarv 7 years, 3 months ago

4 wheel drive 'will' help you get better traction on ice. It wont help with stopping however.

saxplayer24 7 years, 3 months ago

4 wheel drive only works if not a driver from Johnson County.

saxplayer24 7 years, 3 months ago

Actually, driving will only work, under any condition, if the driver isn't from JoCo.

oldvet 7 years, 3 months ago

And while this has nothing to do with driving, it sure could save you a major headache later... be sure that you do not have any hoses attached to your outside water spigots... the hose will trap water in the spigot head and lead to the head freezing and cracking... and that can lead to a real mess with water everywhere... so check them now to be sure...

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