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1 p.m. As of shortly before noon, there had been 18 accidents in the City of Lawrence since the snow started in earnest Tuesday night.
There have been 2 minor injury accidents and 16 non-injury accidents, said police spokeswoman Kim Murphree.
8:51 a.m. The cold temperatures and snowy conditions have led Douglas County Senior Services to cancel its Meals on Wheels and Senior Transportation programs for the day. Those are just some of the closings already reported today.
The winter weather advisory for Douglas County has been lifted. Temperatures in the area are in the teens with the wind chill reaching sub-zero levels.
The Kansas Department of Transportation is reporting several major roads are partially or mostly snowpacked and/or icy. Use caution when driving on these roads. Drive slowly and give yourself extra space for braking and stopping.
Hazardous roads in Douglas County:
I-70 - partly snowpacked, speeds reduced to 60 m.p.h.
K-10 - mostly snowpacked
K-32 - mostly snowpacked
U.S. 24 - mostly snowpacked
U.S. 40 - mostly snowpacked
U.S. 56 - mostly snowpacked
Westar Energy also reported all power has been restored to Douglas County customers.
Westar Energy is reporting 37 Douglas County customers, most in Lawrence, are currently without power. At this time the cause of the outage is unknown.
People seem to be having a decent amount of trouble navigating the KU campus. Take routes that keep you off the hills. They are slippery and people are either getting stuck or finding themselves not able to make it up successfully.
That’s the advice from 6News Meteorologist Matt Elwell. The storm system that plagued northeast Kansas since late Monday will be completely out of the area by late this morning, but that doesn’t mean we’re out of the woods from the icy weather. “Temperatures will be falling throughout the day, and you couple that with a strong northwest wind, and we’ll have wind chills dipping below zero at times,” Elwell said. “It’s going to be brutal, at least through Thursday.”
Temperatures during the day today and Thursday aren’t expected to rise above 25 degrees. The mercury is not expected to be above freezing until Friday, Elwell said. By the weekend, the forecast calls for mostly sunny skies and temperatures in the mid 30s.
Through this first big blast of winter weather, it’s important not to forget our four-legged friends. The Lawrence Humane Society has received more than 20 calls in the past three days to perform pet welfare checks.
“When the weather gets cold, we get a lot of calls,” said Midge Grinstead, director of the Lawrence Humane Society. “Dogs on chains, frozen water, no housing, no bedding — those kind of things are really critical in this kind of weather.”
Grinstead offered a few tips to help keep your pets safe and warm:
• If the air temperature is at or below freezing, pets should be brought indoors.
• Heated water bowls are critical for pets that remain outdoors. Grinstead says the pets lick the ice of a frozen bowl, which in turn further reduces their body temperature.
• If pets are unable to come inside, make a small shelter for them so they can stay out of the elements.
• Straw serves as good bedding for outside shelters because it’s hollow and holds in body heat from your pet.
According to the Lawrence Humane Society, dogs and cats face the same dangers that people do in cold weather.
Their noses, their ears, the pads of their feet will freeze, they will get frostbite,” Grinstead said. Most importantly, Grinstead says, use common sense. “If it’s too cold for you to be outside, it’s too cold for your pet, too.”
9:34 p.m. Tuesday
The latest update from the National Weather Service continues the winter weather advisory until 6 a.m., but predicts just less than 1 inch of additional accumulation by midnight.
Winds are expected to be out of the northwest at 20-30 mph, gusting to 40 mph, dropping wind chills to -5 to -10 degrees.
With that cold weather in mind, and given much higher snow totals north of Lawrence, school districts Tuesday night were already canceling classes.