Archive for Sunday, December 27, 2009

Blizzard’s gone, but roads remain snow-covered

Storm dumped 8 to 10 inches in area

Kerry Townsend was resourceful in her quest to run to the grocery store for herself and a few neighbors. Using a saucer sled and rope to pull her groceries, she easily made her way along Connecticut Street near 15th Street Saturday, Dec. 26, 2009.

Kerry Townsend was resourceful in her quest to run to the grocery store for herself and a few neighbors. Using a saucer sled and rope to pull her groceries, she easily made her way along Connecticut Street near 15th Street Saturday, Dec. 26, 2009.

December 27, 2009


December 2009 Winter storm

Expect slight snow accumulation through Saturday, with the winter storm wrapping up completely by Sunday.

The snow will stay for a while, but the Christmas Blizzard of 2009 is on its way out of town.

“It’s wrapping up,” said 6News Meteorologist Ed Bloodsworth. “(But) it’s going to stay cold.”

And referring to the recent storm as a “blizzard” isn’t simply a figure of speech.

“We’ve reached blizzard criteria,” Bloodsworth said, which means the storm met wind and sustained snowfall requirements that sufficiently reduced visibility.

The total snowfall tally in Douglas County as of Saturday morning ranged from 8.5 inches in Lawrence to 10 inches in Lecompton, according to the National Weather Service.

While the snow has eased up, Lawrence police said area roads remain dangerous.

“The roads still require a lot of caution,” said Sgt. Mark Warren.

The police did not have a tally of storm-related vehicle accidents, but, Warren said, “we’ve been busy.”

Bloodsworth said the area will have seen the last of the snowfall by this morning, but temperatures will continue to dip into the teens and 20s through early this week.


conservative 8 years, 1 month ago

The city receives an F on snow removal. Are they even running the plows anymore? There hasn't been one in my neighborhood in 36 hours. They made two passes after the initial snow, never sanded or salted and have never looked back as far as I can see.

youngjayhawk 8 years, 1 month ago

What city do you reside in? Major arteries in Lawrence have been open for a couple days now. No one I talked with yesterday had any difficulty navigating the roads. Be sensible and exercise caution - you'll get where you need to be. Our city road crews gave up Christmas with their families to make sure that others could reach theirs! I applaud and appreciate their efforts - Thanks!

Boston_Corbett 8 years, 1 month ago

Its funny to read the newspaper blogs and twitter-traffic.....people like conservative complaining from medium-larger towns over the several states. (People in smaller cities seem to be more self-reliant) Heck, people were complaining on Xmas before the snow had even stopped.

And some of those griping around here are the same ones who complain about city budgets and taxes.

I would say the "grass is always greener" but its more "the roads are always clearer."

I think DToplikar yesterday had it right.

GardenMomma 8 years, 1 month ago

My street doesn't LOOK like it has been plowed but I know it has because I've seen plows and cars driving on it.

It only looks like it's not been plowed because the plow didn't get down to the concrete and the street is snow packed. People I've talked to say the roads are snowpacked but salted and sanded pretty well, just need to drive slowly and sensibly. Obviously you can't do 55 down 6th street (or probably even 40 - the posted limit)!

Be aware and be calm and be smart. Don't go out unless you need to. This is just one of those things that nature throws at you to test you. Focus on the fun, not the frustration.

conservative 8 years, 1 month ago

Yes they managed to get the major streets. Their responsibility doesn't end there however. Sand on the hills, and clearing the snow so that it is possible for the non 4wd cars to navigate is also on the agenda. I live in Lawrence and have for 20+ years. Yes I can tell the difference between snow packed down and if the plows have been back down the street. The first day some of the neighbors had gotten stuck on the street and the plows had to go around them. Even though we got the cars unstuck and into driveways the plows have not come back thru. Sorry the F remains. Oh and as far as them giving up their christmas. Yes I appreciate the drivers even though they are well compensated for the holiday work. It is the management of the crews that appears to be totally lacking.

a1983amber 8 years, 1 month ago

I live on Morningside Drive and they have still not plowed my street I have not seen a plow or sand truck on my street since Christmas Eve around 7pm

lawrence_citizen 8 years, 1 month ago

The city has miles of streets to plow, and so many cars stuck to try and maneuver around. My street has not been touched since the storm started. Not real happy about that, but I will live, if I don't need emergency crews to respond. My biggest complaint is they are not following their own plan. Their snow removal priority map, shows Harvard as a Priority #2 route. Between Kasold and Monterey Way they plowed early Friday evening, but not since, at least not as of 10:00 PM last night. The city has no device to be notified of a missed street, no emergency number. Their normal working number rolls to a voicemail box that is full. So no one is even checking that. They need to have a device in place to be notified of areas that need attention.

Bladerunner 8 years, 1 month ago

I live on a cul de sac west of the 900 and 1000 blocks of monterey way. Not a single plow has come by yet! My patience is running very thin.

cowboy 8 years, 1 month ago

Day four , no plows on my street. A minimum level of basic services is the responsibility of the city. Epic Fail

skinny 8 years, 1 month ago

What are you crybaby’s going to do if it really does snow in Lawrence? This is nothing compared to up north!

Heck, 40 years ago they didn't even plow the side streets.

I think the city did an excellent job under the blizzard conditions and the fact it was Christmas.

mass207 8 years, 1 month ago

I live on the back end of Cynthia street. It's at the bottom of two hills (Cynthia & Randell). Nobody in my area, unless they have 4X4, can get out. I'm lucky that my wife has a Jeep. All weekend my boy and I have watched as cars go back and forth between Cynthia and Randell trying to get up the hills. Not a single plow. Harvard is basically one lane.

John Kyle 8 years, 1 month ago

Good job city crew. You gave up a holiday to help us out. Some people I guess can't handle the snow and cold so they have to complain about something. Your work was well worth my tax dollars!

mass207 8 years, 1 month ago

10 minutes after my post and we've got a plow!

gconfo 8 years, 1 month ago

I live on Lakecrest rd/ct, and there has not been any plowing done. Stop patting the city on the back for doing a craptastic job. Sure, I'll give a nod to the crews that ARE working. However, there must be a serious shortage of manpower to leave so many streets unplowed for 3 days. I'm not sure if the management or budget gods are to blame, but I'm pretty pissed off right now. We have absolutely no way of getting out to the store, let alone work (are you listening KU?). If you think I'm whining, then come on by and check out my street, otherwise, shut the f*(ck up!

West_Sider 8 years, 1 month ago

I give the city an A+ on their snow removal efforts. I had no issues navigating the streets on Dec. 24th, 25th, or 26th. I live in an area out west that has seen little, if any, snow removal during the storm. But, I do have a 4 wheel-drive truck which allowed me to come and go as I pleased. Maybe those who are complaining about the road conditions should consider bad weather mobility the next time they purchase a vehicle. (P.S. I imagine your Prius sales person never mentioned that the car only has 4" of ground clearance and is basically useless with 6" of snow in your drive)

gconfo 8 years, 1 month ago

Hey West sider, I don't own a Prius, but I'll admit, my car doesn't have much clearance. Wonderful logic you are spewing. So I should give up decent fuel economy so I can navigate on a snow covered street (once a decade) that the city should have cleared by now? Maybe, just maybe if my property taxes didn't pay for basic city services, then your flawed logic would skew towards sanity. In the real world, however, you are just full of crap. I'd like to tell you to shove it up your ass, but LJW would just remove my post, hehe.

gconfo 8 years, 1 month ago

Jack, I'm not going to take the bait and argue pro or con regarding smart growth. Frankly, I'm not an expert, nor do I really care after the fact. However, there are plenty of large metropolitan/suburban areas near here that have similar tax bases, neighborhood layouts and sufficient numbers of snow removal crews. I don't know if this is an equipment or manpower issue; however, from the the comments I've seen so far, as well as some info I gleaned from a tow truck driver, the city's snow removal plan has been seriously lacking.

gconfo 8 years, 1 month ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

mrf 8 years, 1 month ago

When are they going to remove the snow? I was planning on coming back tomorrow but it looks like I need to change my plans.

Russell Fryberger 8 years, 1 month ago

Maybe the city should supply snow plow trucks to all the people who think that their street should be plowed first. Wait, maybe we could heat the streets so no one will be inconvenienced because mother nature decided to give us a long long overdue real kansas winter. People who complain about the rate at which their streets are plowed piss me off. Those guys are working harder than you can imagine, and taking a lot of crap from a bunch of crybabies along the way.

West_Sider 8 years, 1 month ago

I'm not spewing anything but basic survival logic. I see fools show up in the field and in the woods all the time without proper gear because they use much of the same logic as you, Jack and Confo. If you only take gear that covers the conditions that are expected, then don't bitch when the unexpected occurs. As the old saying goes " Man does not plan to fail, he fails to plan". Also, there are alternatives to buying a 4wd. Simply access the citiies emergency snow removal plan, find a location near your home that is on the route and park your vehicle there the next time bad weather threatens. You may actually have to walk a little but at least you can drive the Prius down to the Merc to get your feed bag restocked.

West_Sider 8 years, 1 month ago

Jack, I pay my DG county and Lawrence city property tax bills on time and w/o complaint every 6 mos and have done so for the last 13 years. I guess I fail to see the analogy of how planning for all of the good and bad weather that mother nature provides makes me a leech?

Leech = any of numerous carnivorous or bloodsucking usually freshwater annelid worms (class Hirudinea) that have typically a flattened lanceolate segmented body with a sucker at each end.

Bozup 8 years, 1 month ago

Road was cleared at 11 o'clock last night. Thank you to the driver for working those late hours. Mister_Pink there are some whining cry babies but Myself and frustrated neighbors banded together shoveled and used a snow blower to clear a section on a hill into a neighbor hood. Maybe if you got off the keyboard and stopped slandering people and got out there to witness Lawrence residents walking to the store and working together to clear streets you wouldn't be such a scrooge! I had to privilege to witness Lawrence character with people working together to get out! We will survive!

BMI 8 years, 1 month ago

Imagine the people whose job it is to answer the phones on Monday morning. The simple front desk people who aren't in charge of the route planning, the men in the field, who themselves live in homes that may or may not have been plowed. They may well be dreading going to work tomorrow, knowing the phone will be ringing constantly with complaints from irate citizens. All that negativity falling upon the brains of possibly one poor soul who had nothing to do with planning, driving, any of it. The limit of her or his job, is perhaps the phone and minor paperwork?

If you're going to call, be nice (and pretend that your parents, friends, your boss and the press are watching you make that call.) I can only wonder if that person was wishing they were hospitalized with swine flu this week, or perhaps have a minor heart attack shoveling snow so they didn't have to go in to work until this is all over.

Leslie Swearingen 8 years, 1 month ago

As I sit here the Parks Department vehicle with two tiny snow plows on board is stuck on Vermont Street by the Community Center. They had to unload one of the plows to clear a path. However the sidewalks on South Park are clear.

kernal 8 years, 1 month ago

After seeing all the whining and complaining here, maybe it's time Lawrence considers a snow ordinance.

YouPeopleAreCrazy 8 years, 1 month ago

From my experience, idiots in 4x4 trucks are far more dangerous than idiots in small passenger vehicles. Just saying.

West_Sider 8 years, 1 month ago

Jack, this blog entry is about snow removal, or lack thereof. I guess I am not seeing how the taxes your or I paid, the smoking ordnance, K-10 bypass, Walmart, KU, etc.. factor into that discussion. Please try and stay on subject.

PS Let me know if you need a ride to pick up your ADHD meds.

Katara 8 years, 1 month ago

Everybody had advanced warning that we were going to have a really bad storm. If you chose not to take the time to prepare (such as stocking up at the store) beforehand, that is simply your problem and you lost the right to moan and groan.

hwarangdo 8 years, 1 month ago

what are you guys whining about? heck, shawnee county simply declared a snow emergency and told people not to drive. period. until they can get the streets plowed. A couple of sand/plow trucks turned over in the ditch here in topeka ... a semi-trailer got stuck in a parking lot ... people are abandoning their stuck cars on the streets ... dogs and cats sleeping together ... hell and brimstone ...

infidel 8 years, 1 month ago

Jack, I would say yes the west side residents are paying additional expenses for a lower density population. Look a house on fall creek rd. taxes are over $19,000.00 year, while a comparable sized house on Tennessee is just slightly more than $4.000.00 on similar size lots.
Both in outstanding condition.

infidel 8 years, 1 month ago

My road was plowed today, however I made around town yesterday with my old and low to the ground Toyota, with not much problem.

persevering_gal 8 years, 1 month ago

Thank you, city crew! I appreciate what you do. I guess some people tend to forget that life doesn't always revolve around themselves.

hartk678 8 years, 1 month ago

Please keep in mind that, not counting county roads, there are 805 lane miles within the city limits of Lawrence. (see link below) Consider how long it would take YOU to cover 805 miles... going 15-20 mph. Oh, and please put a plow on the front of your car.

Boston_Corbett 8 years, 1 month ago

& you can't plow a cul-de-sac at 15 mph... more like 1...

shorttrees 8 years, 1 month ago

Hartk, you didn't dig quite far enough.

805 miles. Divided by 16 routes (the city's numbers, not mine) means about 50 miles per route. 5 mph is equivalent to a fast walk, and much slower than the plows who went through my street finally at 4 am this morning. It works out to 10 hours and ALL streets get plowed at least once.

But, this is Lawrence so of course the numbers don't crunch. .

hwarangdo 8 years, 1 month ago

hey, my neighbor simply put a blade on his ATV ... he can have fun while plowing the driveway :D just a thought for those of you with ATVs who miss the mud.

happy_go_lucky 8 years, 1 month ago

Jack you fail to realize. Many of the side streets have only SEEN a plow one way. Many have been hit both sides of the roads, but countless side streets have only one lane cleared.

readingraven 8 years, 1 month ago

It s funny how the same people who wish for snow ,then gripe about it being on the streets .Ok so the city has only a few trucks and about 800 miles of road to do. The trucks go about 20 miles per hr and people wonder why it’s not getting done fast enough .I think Lawrence is a little to spoiled !You sure don’t see every one running out to move their cars to help. And you don’t see people staying in and off the roads so the work can get done. Ok so the same people who are griping will be the same people who also get mad when there’s to much sand on their streets ,Or they can’t get out of there drive because the snow plow snow row blocked them in. Or they are mad because a snow plow spit a little snow on their cars as they go by.I think everyone needs to really think about what really possible and what really can be done! One of the biggest problems we are having is global warming, so here’s the snow to cool it off! Deal with it and stop being such babies about it!

Rick Aldrich 8 years, 1 month ago


BigPrune 8 years, 1 month ago

Smart Growth hurts our quality of life.

The reason why the City doesn't have enough money to budget for snow falls is because of so-called "smart" growth policies that have been detrimental to our tax base thus our quality of life.

Johnson County streets are plowed, even their side streets were plowed. K-10 highway has actual pavement showing - you can see where the State takes over from the City - Lawrence side has high snow, State side has none to very little snow. Just drive East on 23rd.

I thought we lived on an island in the middle of what?

I don't fault the street crews for busting their tails. I fault the administration for not allocating enough funds and instead cherry pick stupid ideas (like paying thousands for invisible carbon credits to some out of state non-profit).

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