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Archive for Friday, January 8, 2010

Wind chill readings below zero; some area roads snowpacked

The forecast calls for near-record wind chill readings in the next several days.

January 8, 2010, 12:00 a.m. Updated January 8, 2010, 5:00 a.m.

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5:00 a.m.

Bitterly cold temperatures and gusting winds await northeast Kansas commuters this morning. As of 5:00 a.m., the temperature in Lawrence is sitting at zero degrees, with a wind chill of 11 below zero.

The frigid conditions have not helped road crews in their efforts to clear roadways.

A look at the status of area roads for Friday's a.m. commute, according to the Kansas Department of Transportation:

• Interstate 70 is completely snowpacked.

• Kansas Highway 10 is partly snowpacked.

• U.S. Highway 59 has drifting snow.

• U.S. Highway 24 has drifting snow.

• U.S. Highway 56 has drifting snow.

Midnight

Crews cleared many of Lawrence's main roads on Thursday, but the Clinton Lake Dam road remained closed overnight. Lawrence police said they were not aware whether any effort would be made to clear the road before Friday morning.

Road cleanup crews were dispatched to particularly icy spots near 31st and Louisiana streets and on exit ramps along Kansas Highway 10.

Thursday night, the Kansas Department of Transportation listed stretches of K-10 and Interstate 70 as completely snowpacked in Douglas County. Highway 59 was listed as having drifting snow.

Frigid temperatures in the next several days will make road crews' jobs even more difficult by slowing melting. According to 6News Chief Meteorologist Matt Elwell, temperatures will not top 20 degrees before Sunday and wind chills could dip as low as 30 below zero this weekend. The National Weather Service has placed Douglas and surrounding counties under a wind chill warning, effective through noon Saturday.

Temperatures are projected to rise into the low 20s Sunday before jumping into the low 30s early next week.

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.

Comments

true_patriot 4 years, 11 months ago

Whoa. Let's hear it for the postal workers trudging through this stuff.

inabilitytoassessroadcondition 4 years, 11 months ago

I70 completely snowpacked??? Umm, sorry if this has been discussed before, who makes these assessments....Stevie Wonder??? I70 has never been snowpacked (including yesterday). Is it really that hard to figure that out. This morning both lanes are completely dry and I used my cruise control from Lawrence to Bonner. It would really be nice to get an accurate assessement for those of us who work and really can't take days off unless it's truly dangerous to drive.

Jonathan Kealing 4 years, 11 months ago

Inability--

Those assessments come direct from the Kansas Department of Transportation. But we also appreciate readers who leave comments with their experiences. A lot of times their information is more up-to-date than what the state provides.

Jonathan Kealing Online editor

inabilitytoassessroadcondition 4 years, 11 months ago

Thanks for the reply Jon. Wow...so the trained professionals in charge of our roads are unable to distinguish between ashpalt and snow. I find that somewhat alarming. Anyone mind swinging over to Topeka and giving an inservice? I'd have my 3 year old do it but Dora is about to come on.

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