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Archive for Tuesday, February 26, 2013

City cleans up after second storm

February 26, 2013, 6:49 a.m. Updated February 26, 2013, 7:07 p.m.

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Most recent weather graphic from the National Weather Service.

Most recent weather graphic from the National Weather Service.

Westar Energy map shows power outages in county. As of 6 a.m., abut 1,900 customers in the county were without power after heavy snow damaged power lines.

Westar Energy map shows power outages in county. As of 6 a.m., abut 1,900 customers in the county were without power after heavy snow damaged power lines.

The second snowstorm to move through Lawrence in a week treated the city much less harshly than the first. National Weather Service snow accumulation reports in the city ranged from 5 to 7 inches after today's storm, less than was forecast. And the wet snow made for easier work for city road crews.

City snow plows cleared main roads early in the day and then moved onto neighborhood streets during the afternoon. Last week, that didn't happen until the morning after the storm hit.

"It's heavy. It's wet. It's slushy," city of Lawrence spokeswoman Megan Gilliland said of today's snow. "We're actually seeing some water pooling at intersections from the melting."

Roads could grow slicker at about 9 p.m. when temperatures are projected to drop below freezing, Gilliland said, though remaining treatment on the roads should help.

Roads and highways in Douglas County and beyond, meanwhile, are still in rough shape as the snow storm moves out of the area, according to city and state officials.

Tuesday's wetter snow was easier to plow, but it also stuck to tree branches and power lines in the morning, leading to cracked and fallen trees and power outages for hundreds in Douglas County.

A city primary election went on as scheduled, with most polling places open, but few voters braved the morning snow. Many took advantage of advance voting over the past couple of days to cast their ballots. Turnout picked up a bit during the afternoon, but was still reported light. Polls closed at 7 p.m.

Lawrence officials said trash collection crews were operating today, but alley collections on Tuesday residential routes will be delayed because of the snow. The city will announce the time of those collections later in the week.

Roads outside of Lawrence such as I-70 and K-10 were slower to clear, because of heavier accumulations and blowing snow. At 6 p.m. K-10 and I-70 east of Lawrence were reported to be slushy, and U.S. Route 59 south of Lawrence was still snowpacked. Still, state and county officials said there had been no serious injury accidents reported Tuesday, possibly because so many people were staying home and avoiding the roads.

The Kansas Highway Patrol said troopers responded to a few non-injury accidents this morning, but traffic on the highways around Lawrence was light. Four-wheel-drive vehicles have had success, but most drivers are better off waiting a few hours for snow plows to clear the roads more, Kellerman said.

"Snow always brings out the four-by-fours," he said.

The good news, KDOT spokeswoman Kimberly Qualls said, is it appears more drivers are choosing to stay off the roads today, compared with last week. On Thursday and Friday, Qualls said, many snow plows on highways between Lawrence and Kansas City were blocked by stalled and abandoned cars.

Elsewhere in Kansas, state officials have reported two fatalities on I-70 related to the winter storm that started moving through the state Sunday. One person died in an accident in Ellis County, near Hays, Monday night, and another died Monday morning in Sherman County, near Goodland.

A bit more snow tonight

National Weather Service meteorologist Jennifer Bowen said another inch of snow may fall tonight.

The heaviest snow from this storm fell in a narrow area, which missed Lawrence. Parts of Osage County have reported up to 10 inches.

Because this storm brought less cold air than last week's, today's snow was especially wet, Bowen said. That would explain the reports of falling tree branches coming in to the @LJWorld Twitter account. "That wetter snow tends to stick to everything, including tree limbs," Bowen said.

Journal-World news partner Operation 100 reported overnight that heavy snow was damaging trees and causing power lines to fall. By 7 p.m., Westar was still reporting 140 Douglas County customers without power, but the utility was expecting full restoration before midnight.

Even if the snowfall is largely over, fierce winds will continue to make travel dangerous. Gusts up to 30 miles per hour will continue to blow snow around and reduce visibility overnight and Wednesday morning, Bowen said. "The next two days should be kind of messy," she said. By Thursday, things should be calmer. The NWS 10-day forecast shows temperatures rising above freezing by the weekend and into the 40s at the beginning of next week.

Mail delivery in Lawrence, brought nearly to a halt for two days by last week's storm, was merely slowed by today's snow, said Lawrence postmaster Judy Raney. Nearly all delivery routes should be completed, she said.

Reporter Shaun Hittle contributed to this story.

Comments

kernal 1 year, 9 months ago

I wish people luck in trying to get the polling places today. I'm in South Lawrence and we've got ice underneath the snow; not sure how much, but it's enought to be visable on the trees. Have also had a couple of power surges already this morning.

Stay warm and stay safe, people!

frankfussman 1 year, 9 months ago

I live a block from my polling place, so I'll walk over there later today in the snow. No problem.

irvan moore 1 year, 9 months ago

just got done with clearing the walks the first time, heavy wet snow, probably have to do it a couple more times, yuck

Curtis Lange 1 year, 9 months ago

Those additional snow totals (6-7" more?) are very, very optimistic. Additional 1-2" maybe.

bookemdano 1 year, 9 months ago

I've lost several tree limbs, but darn if this isn't the prettiest snowfall in recent memory. Total "Winter Wonderland" out there. Stay safe everyone, spring will be here soon!

moonlite318 1 year, 9 months ago

I'm waiting for them to clean 17th street and Lindenwood lane so I can come home. It did say they did east lawrence this morning called home and wasnt done.

hedshrinker 1 year, 9 months ago

In the south facing flowerbed of my neighbors to the north, there is a whole gaggle of robins enthusiastically digging in the fast melting snow for worms in the moist garden soil which they haven't experienced in months. There are LOTS of birds at the feeders on the south of my place, sheltered by a huge cedar bent low with snow. a nice day to work at home all in all...there are bunches of limbs down in my yard, but they can wait for another day.

CardHawkFan 1 year, 9 months ago

Check the front page of www.msn.com talking about the snow storm. The picture is from Lawrence!

Richard Heckler 1 year, 9 months ago

Please don't bury the cars on prospect we need to be able to go to work in the morning.

Thanks in advance.

Mike Edson 1 year, 9 months ago

A majority of the streets have been cleaned except my culdesac. I haven't seen any plows out. Are they still working?

Mike Edson 1 year, 9 months ago

Just checked the City of Lawrence snow operations map with the snow plow GPS tracker. Looks like they are all back at the city depot. Hopefully it is just a shift change.

canusayduh 1 year, 9 months ago

They never cleared our street last week. Looks like it will be a repeat this week. We even called the city last week, and no one would answer the phone, and their voice mail was full. Lousy job on both storms! What good is it to clear the main streets if no one can get to them?

Cant_have_it_both_ways 1 year, 9 months ago

Yeah... clear East Lawrence, open the polls....do we see a pattern here?

JJTitan83 1 year, 9 months ago

Lawrence deserves some Democrat City Commissioners. I've always said that we need to delineate party lines for these elections. Lawrence is Liberal, we more than deserve a liberal government. Hey can't have it both ways, first of all, no YOU can't. And second of all, the entire state of Kansas outside of Lawrence is calling you. What are you doing here?

JJTitan83 1 year, 9 months ago

Look I'm sorry but the city has done a poor job with both of these storms. The storm last Thursday make them look idiotic, they didn't start clearing roads until way too late. And today, I'm driving by neighborhoods that are completely snow covered as people slide their way down the street. This is not real journalism.

elliottaw 1 year, 9 months ago

exactly, I already know we will not see a plow today

moonlite318 1 year, 9 months ago

I still havnt been home, not sure if I can get back to work tommrow. Called home at 5:30pm at my area on 17th street and Lindenwood havsnt been plowed either, and its a hill and a valley to get out of there. I hope they get to it very soon. Would like to get home.

Laura Wilson 1 year, 9 months ago

A street tees into mine just down from my house. They plowed a strip down it and then...went away? That was three hours ago! Why didn't they do my street since they had to drive on it?

Completely baffling. I figure I'll get up in the morning to find three feet of snow plowed into the end of my driveway and turned into huge ice balls. What really irritates me is that they plow the streets more than once. You get the snow shoveled out and an hour later they're back shoving more into your driveway. They did this last Saturday to me. Plowed overnight, I went out to check and figured I could get out over the six inches or so they'd piled up, went inside for breakfast and they came back and plowed another foot in! Between the two plowings, the street had about a half inch of packed down snow on it that would have melted by mid-morning. Pointless.

But, as I was furiously shoveling in order to get to an early morning appointment, a plow came up and the driver gestured me away and he dug out the end of my driveway.

So, yeah, I blame management for the poor job. The drivers are doing their job and even sometimes being kind.

Ron Holzwarth 1 year, 9 months ago

I can't complain. One of the drivers not only dug out the end of a driveway I was stuck in, but he also got out of his truck to give me a push to get me up all the way into the driveway so that he could do that. After that, with a bit of scooping, it was easy to get out.

elliottaw 1 year, 9 months ago

your lucky, plow doesn't come here until a few days later and only once

UneasyRider 1 year, 9 months ago

Are the drivers not allowed meal or bathroom breaks?

Margaret Elberson 1 year, 9 months ago

still not done here on craig court....you know east lawrence behind HARPER street, the one that IS DONE....

geez.

moonlite318 1 year, 9 months ago

Want one is done behind harper street?

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