Snowstorm causes power outages but few traffic problems in Lawrence

photo by: Ashley Hocking

Snow covers a tree on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019, at the University of Kansas.

A winter storm dropped about 4 inches of wet, heavy snow on Lawrence Friday evening and Saturday morning, causing power outages in the city and Douglas County but not having much of an impact on traffic in the city.

Bryan Baerg, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Topeka, said snowfall amounts from 3.5 to 6 inches were reported in Lawrence from the storm, with 4 inches being the most consistent amount recorded. The storm system has moved on, he said, but the snow on the ground will be around for a few days because temperatures Sunday and Monday will struggle to warm much above freezing.

The winter storm caused more problems overhead than on the city streets, said Sgt. Laurie Powell of the Lawrence Police Department. Throughout the day, the police department helped Westar Energy crews deal with multiple power outages caused by tree limbs and power lines brought down by the heavy snow.

At 4 p.m. Westar Energy’s outage map showed 21 power outages scattered around Lawrence. Most affected fewer than five customers, but two outages near Naismith Drive between West 20th and West 23rd streets caused an estimated 107 customers to lose power.

Lawrence police didn’t have to deal with any extra traffic problems as a result of the storm, Powell said.

“We didn’t have any more accidents than we normally have,” she said. “We didn’t work any that were weather related.”

However, throughout Douglas County, there was more weather-related trouble on the roads. Sgt. Kristen Channel of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office told the Journal-World Saturday night that deputies responded to 31 slideoffs, accidents and other weather-related calls on Friday and Saturday.


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