Archive for Thursday, January 7, 2010

Wind chill warning continues; Clinton Lake Dam road closed

Winter weather advisory also in effect

January 7, 2010, 12:00 a.m. Updated January 7, 2010, 4:51 p.m.


January 6-7 weather

Wind chills will range between -10 to -25°. Lows will drop to -8° leaving wind chills between -20 and -30°. Highs by Friday will remain in the single digits, with wind chills below zero.

City preparing ice skating rink

The Lawrence Fire Department assisted the Lawrence Parks and Recreation Department in setting up an ice skating rink in Buford M. Watson Jr. Park Tuesday afternoon. Enlarge video

Send us your photos

Send us your winter weather photos, and we'll feature them online, in the Journal-World and on Sunflower Broadband's Channel 6 News. You can also e-mail them to Please include your name.

Kansas weather updates, via Twitter

4:48 p.m.

City crews have spent the day clearing residential streets and re-clearing priority streets that have been blown closed again.

Round-the-clock operations will continue at least through this evening to get to all residential areas. A contracted crew will also be working to clear snow.

The frigid temperatures, which do not allow chemicals to work as effectively for melting snow and ice, are leaving some priority routes still partly to completely snowpacked.

Anyone in Lawrence with questions about snow clearing operations can call (785) 832-3031 until midnight tonight.

4:21 p.m.

Police Sgt. Michael Monroe said 33 vehicle accidents occurred in Lawrence from noon Wednesday when snow started falling to 3:30 p.m. Thursday.

Three of the 33 were minor injury accidents.

3:59 p.m.

Citing blowing snow and slick conditions, officials are closing E900 Road over the Clinton Lake Dam.

Individuals will still be able to access the area via E902 Road, which runs beneath the dam.

There are no other road closures in Douglas County at this time.

3:13 p.m.

Schools across our area have been canceling Friday classes all day, and Lawrence USD 497 just joined in.

Citing blowing and drifting snow, the school district canceled Friday classes.

Check out the rest of our closings and cancellations

1:54 p.m.

Here's the latest road condition information for Douglas County's highways:

U.S. Highways 59, 56 and 40 are all classified as having "drifting snow." Kansas Highway 32 just east of the Douglas County line is in similar condition.

Kansas Highway 10, U.S. Highway 24 and the Kansas Turnpike are all classified as "completely snowpacked."

Most major City of Lawrence streets have been treated and there is reasonably clear pavement where traffic is moving. Turn lanes, residential streets and less well-travelled city streets all have varying levels of snow on them.

You can post detailed road condition reports in the comments below.

11:24 a.m.

Here are some snowfall totals from our area:

West Lawrence: 5.1 inches

East Lawrence: 3.5 inches

Lecompton: 4.0 inches

Ottawa: 3.5 inches

7:52 a.m.

Here's the latest road condition information for area highways, from the Kansas Department of Transportation.

Douglas County:

All Interstates, U.S. and state highways are completely snowpacked.

Shawnee County:

The Kansas Turnpike is completely snowpacked.

Other Interstates, U.S. and state highways are considered partly snowpacked.

Kansas City-metro area:

All Interstates, U.S. and state highways are completely snowpacked.

KDOT provides continuously updated road conditions information.

7:40 a.m.

The National Weather Service has shuffled our watches and warnings overnight.

We are no longer under a winter storm warning or wind chill watch. Instead, the weather service has upgraded us to a wind chill warning beginning this afternoon and downgraded us to a winter storm advisory.

According to the weather service, sustained winds of 20 to 30 mph are likely today, with gusts to 35 mph. Windchills of -15 to -35 are expected today through Saturday. Outdoor activity is strongly discouraged while the wind chill warning is in effect, which is until noon Saturday.

The weather service also cautions that blowing snow may make some roads impassable, including some that had already been cleared.

7:17 a.m.

As of 6:30 this morning, City of Lawrence crews have plowed and treated all collector and arterial streets at least once, according to a statement from Tom Orzulak, who heads the city's street clearing operations. He cautioned, however, that even plowed roads remain snowpacked and treacherous.

"Exercise extreme caution when driving today and remember to slow down," he said.

Beginning before dawn, city crews and also those hired from a private contractor began working to clear residential areas. That work is expected to continue all day today. The city asks all residents to move vehicles all of city streets to make street clearing operations easier.

Orzulak said the city received about four inches of snow. With the prediction of strong winds today, that four inches of snow will be blown around, creating large drifts and re-covering roads that have already be cleared.

Stay with for all the latest updates.

5:00 a.m.

Most area roads remain completely snowpacked as the morning commute approaches.

A look at some road conditions, as reported by the Kansas Department of Transportation:

• Interstate 70 is completely snowpacked from west of Topeka to the Missouri border.

• Kansas Highway 10 is completely snowpacked from Lawrence to the greater Kansas City area.

• Highway 24 is completely snowpacked from west of Topeka to the Missouri border.

• Highway 59 is completely snowpacked from Lawrence to Baldwin City.

2:50 a.m.

Moving into Thursday's early morning hours, the snow in the Lawrence area has stopped, with only flurries to come in the next few hours, according to the National Weather Service.

Temperatures have dipped to dangerous levels. At 2:45, it is 8 degrees in Lawrence with a wind chill of 6 below zero. The National Weather Service projects wind chills could drop to anywhere between 12 and 17 below zero this morning before getting even colder as the day progresses.

It's important to remember wind chills this extreme are not just inconvenient, they can be seriously harmful. Dr. Darin Elo, a doctor at Lawrence Memorial Hospital, suggests staying indoors and covering your face if you must go outside.

12:03 a.m.

Snowfall has tapered off in Lawrence, but that doesn't mean conditions have improved much.

Wind gusts of greater than 20 miles per hour are blowing snow across roads and obscuring visibility. According to an officer chatting on the Douglas County Emergency Dispatch scanner just before midnight, visibility along stretches of Highway 40 was down to about 30 feet.

According to 6News Chief Meteorologist Matt Elwell, the snow should hold off while winds and cold temperatures will stick around. Elwell projected Thursday's high temperature at 5 degrees, with wind chills dipping as low as 20 below zero. The National Weather Service recommends packing extra blankets, water, clothing and a flashlight if you must travel under these adverse conditions.

9:14 p.m.

Wednesday's winter weather — high winds and periods of heavy snow — has made driving on area roads treacherous.

According to the Douglas County Sheriff's Office, two injury accidents and 23 non-injury accidents occurred in Douglas County after noon Wednesday. Twenty-six vehicles slid off roads or stalled in the snow.

Jordan Seaburn, who drove Interstate 70 Wednesday afternoon from Kansas City to Lawrence, said traffic was moving about 45 miles per hour.

8:25 p.m.

Visibility in downtown Lawrence has declined to 3/4 of a mile with winds blow sustained at 15 mph.

About three inches of snow accumulation have been reported in Lawrence so far.

6:24 p.m.

Road conditions continue to deteriorate in Lawrence and Douglas County.

The Kansas Department of Transportation declares all roads in Douglas County as completely snowpacked. Local crews have done some plowing and will continue to treat roads through the night.

6News Chief Meteorologist Matt Elwell said snow will end before rush hour on Thursday, but roads could still be slick. Elwell said the biggest concern would be strong winds whipping up the snow and limiting visibility on the roads.

5:25 p.m.

Closings are coming in steadily, with Lawrence schools calling off classes for the first time this year. Other school districts that are closed for Thursday include: Bishop Seabury Academy, De Soto USD 232, Ottawa USD 290, Tonganoxie USD 464, Eudora USD 491, Lawrence USD 497, Corpus Christi Catholic School, Raintree Montessori School and Children's Learning Center.

You can see all of the weather-related closings on our closings page.

6News Chief Meteorologist Matt Elwell said Lawrence has had between 1 and 2 inches of snow accumulation so far Wednesday, with an additional 1 to 2 inches of snow likely before the snow storm moves out of the area late tonight.

4:28 p.m.

Lawrence snow crews have been treating roads with a mixture of sand and salt throughout the morning and are now focused on clearing the streets. Their top priority is arterial roads, followed by "collector roadways." The city advises that roads are still very slick and motorists should exercise extreme caution when driving in the snow by driving slowly.

After the snow has stopped falling Wednesday evening, crews will continue to clear priority routes and begin plowing operations in residential neighborhoods.

The city will have help clearing roadways in residential areas on Thursday morning. An outside contractor will bring in equipment to plow and remove snow from residential streets. The Utilities Department will assist the street maintenance division with plowing. The Parks and Recreation Department will focus on parks facilities and downtown Lawrence sidewalks.


bearded_gnome 8 years, 4 months ago

sorry about your hair Matt...[wink]. wind and blowing snow really does play hell with a TV celebrity's hair...

GreekGirl 8 years, 4 months ago

I made some seriously delicious black bean and turkey enchiladas tonite...and that has absolutely nothing to do with weather :)

Unix_Admin 8 years, 4 months ago

Drive on K10 was not very fun coming into Lenexa this morning. Snow drifting pretty bad into the left lanes - drive slow folks.

youngjayhawk 8 years, 4 months ago

Kudos to Tom Orzulak & his crews for their continued work to clear the streets for our community especially in the frigid grip of this latest storm! We applaud and appreciate your efforts - thanks. Stay warm ... hopefully (next week) the end is in sight!

youngjayhawk 8 years, 4 months ago

Greek Girl - Your Black Bean & Turkey Enchiladas sound awesome and tasty on a frigid winter's night! Care to share the recipe?

jj14 8 years, 4 months ago much snow did we get??? They never tell us!

monkey_c 8 years, 4 months ago

The article says four inches of snow and I'd say from clearing the car that is about right. By the way, Hwy 59 NORTH of Lawrence is no picnic either. I, too, would like that recipe. Sounds yummy. Stay safe and warm.

jj14 8 years, 4 months ago

I'm glad to hear they have contractors helping to clear the streets this time around...maybe it won't take 4 days for them to get to my neighborhood this time.

nobody1793 8 years, 4 months ago

"I hope this extended deep freeze kills off some of this coming summer's indigenous pestilence."

I'm not sure if you're referring to insects or hippies, but both will still be alive and well come spring.

ScottyMac 8 years, 4 months ago

"Outdoor activity is strongly discouraged while the wind chill warning is in effect, which is until noon Saturday."

Well, that will make shoveling our sidewalk difficult before then. Let's see.... Endanger your life complying with the ordinance, or pay the $75 fine.

ameenen 8 years, 4 months ago

Here are some snowfall totals for Douglas County as of this morning... West Lawrence: 5.1" East Lawrence: 3.5" Ottawa: 3.5" Lecompton: 4.0"

monkeyspunk 8 years, 4 months ago

How about some useful information?

In what state are the city's roads? West 6th St.? Harvard? Monterrey Way?

Ricci Moyer 8 years, 4 months ago

How about they don't scrape the snow into peoples driveways. Gee wouldn't that be nice but we know who we are dealing with here. The streets looks good though.

Sherry Warren 8 years, 4 months ago

chishe, what would you suggest the snowplow drivers do at every driveway? Do you realize how many driveways are in Lawrence? Should they hop out and clear it for you with a shovel, thus taking hours to clear one block?

"we know who we are dealing with here."

Yeah, you're dealing with people who are paid to plow their routes, which may involve driving somewhere in their truck without the blade down to get to their routes, then plow the streets clean to the best of their ability, considering the limitations of their equipment and all the cars in the way. They are not paid to clean your driveway, and as frustrating as it is that snow gets pushed back on to where someone has already cleaned, asking them to spend time making sure that your driveway does not get blocked - nor anyone else's driveway - is ridiculous.

After you have all driven a snowplow truck for a city the size of Lawrence or bigger for a season, I welcome your knowledgeable comments and well-informed dialogue. If you haven't yet done this work, could you please quit whining, complaining, grousing, and in general, acting like you are the only people experiencing Winter.

ameenen 8 years, 4 months ago

cheeseburger- You are right, Ottawa is in Franklin County. I forgot to put the "9 miles north of" Ottawa, which according to the National Weather Service, was a report out of Douglas County.

glcookie06 8 years, 4 months ago

Well stated Chucklehead.. my son works for the city of Lawrence, and yes he is one of the drivers clearing the streets.. Come on people.. this is Kansas,,, you all take it for granite.. I say if you want you're drive ways cleaned out then get out there and do it.. the city workers are doing there best to keep the roads cleared.. How many of you complainers have actually drivin one of the trucks w/ the blades pushing snow. many of you don't know a thing about it. you just like to complain.. with the wind blowing like it is it is a lost case in clearing the streets.. the reasoning for the salt and sand on the snow is to help in those conditions when the wind is blowing.. I have one final saying.. if you don't like the weather then move to where you came from.. this is Kansas.. you can either adjust to it or wait.. because,, when winter is over we have to worry about the twisters.. take you're pick.. until then.. have a wonderful day..

glcookie06 8 years, 4 months ago

How much snow was reported in NORTH LAWRENCE?

Boston_Corbett 8 years, 4 months ago

KDOT provides continuous School closing information? How interesting.

costello 8 years, 4 months ago

"Citing blowing snow and slick conditions, officials are closing E900 Road over the Clinton Lake Dam."

I came over this road at about 8 this morning, going north. The south-bound lane was nearly covered with deep snow drifts even though the road had clearly been plowed already. And more snow was blowing up over the guard rail onto the road.

Probably wise to close that road.

Justin Roberts 8 years, 4 months ago

Hey Chucklehead why don't you take some of that hot air and come use it to clear the 3 foot windrow in front of my driveway left by those "wonderful" snow plow operators you so highly speak of. I just spent the last hour in 3 degree weather doing work that would have been unnecessary if the operator would have had a clue what he/she was doing. Oh and just for the record I have worked as a road equipment operator performing snow removal and it is not hard if you pay attention to what you are doing.

bearded_gnome 8 years, 4 months ago

OMG, GreekGirl, was that meant as an invitation?

the [reichwing] KDOT provides continuously updated school closing information...what would ol' Logie make of that...[smirk].

How much snow was reported in north lawrence?

North Lawrence? The He|| you say? you think somebody is measuring? .. okay actually I think the reason there's no mention is that the official Lawrence snowfall is total at the Airport...You know, the Lawrence International Airport. That's where the official temp record that NWS broadcasts comes from I think.

btw, you have a scanner, you tune in 121.225 you can hear the airport's automated weather beacon broadcasting real time weather data. doesn't seem to mention snow depth.

Sherry Warren 8 years, 4 months ago

Wow Soapbox! Did you clean everybody's ingress and egress for them when you drove a plow? I bet you were the most conscientious snowplow driver ever and only left giant piles of snow in places that were conveniently located for everyone in the community.

Cookie - please pass on thanks to your son.

Randall Barnes 8 years, 4 months ago


CrazyDiamond 8 years, 4 months ago

glcookie06 says..."you all take it for granite" Wait a minute. I thought the discussion was about snow removal, not countertops.

kujhawk 8 years, 4 months ago

hey soapbox shut it they are doin the best they can

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