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Lawrence and Douglas County

Lawrence and Douglas county

County roads get slick Wednesday morning as temperature drops

January 30, 2013, 1:33 p.m. Updated January 30, 2013, 4:42 p.m.

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Motorists on Douglas County roads found slick conditions Wednesday morning, at times worse than they are accustomed to. County officials say it was a case of bad timing.

Thirteen crews were out salting and sanding the roads all night, said Doug Stevens, operations manager for Douglas County Public Works. Overnight, the roads were largely clear and the temperature was above freezing, hovering at 34.

But, according to the National Weather Service in Topeka, the temperature was dropping. From 4 a.m. to 7 a.m., it dropped from 34 to 30. About the same time as the road crews’ shift change, it dropped below freezing. In the time the trucks were off the road as the night workers switched with day workers, the freezing conditions made the roads worse than usual.

“There was a little window there,” Stevens said. “The timing was not very good.”

Several accidents were reported Wednesday morning in the city, the county and on Kansas Highway 10, but none involved serious injuries, according to local law enforcement officials. Sgt. Steve Lewis, a Douglas County Sheriff’s Office spokesman, said deputies responded to several incidents of vehicles sliding off the road undamaged, four noninjury accidents, and one accident involving very minor injuries.

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