Dozens of wrecks reported as light snow causes slick roads in Lawrence area

photo by: City of Lawrence traffic camera

Traffic moves along Sixth Street at its intersection with Kasold Drive around 11:30 a.m. Monday, Nov. 12, 2018.

A light snow Monday led to slick roads and dozens of car wrecks in Douglas County.

A total of 40 car wrecks had been reported in the county as of 4 p.m., and four resulted in nonsevere injuries, said Officer Shawn Gross, a Lawrence Police Department spokesman.

Audra Hennecke, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Topeka, said the Lawrence area was expected to receive about half an inch of snow throughout Monday.

But parts of the city received more. A weather service spotter in Lawrence reported receiving 0.9 inches of snow throughout Monday, said Sara Teefey, another meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Topeka. Teefey said the weather service does not have an official count on the amount of snow for the Lawrence area because its weather station at Lawrence Municipal Airport does not record snowfall.

Although the snow was light, Hennecke said roads could still be very slick.

“Sometimes it can be deceiving,” Hennecke said. “It looks like just a little bit of snow, but it can still create slick spots.”

In a news release from 9:30 p.m. Sunday, the City of Lawrence warned of possible freezing and slick roads and said it was “monitoring the situation and will treat roads accordingly.” But the city did not begin putting salt brine on streets until 7 a.m. Monday, said Porter Arneill, a spokesman for the City of Lawrence.

Arneill said the city held off on putting brine on the streets because its forecast showed rain rather than snow. When the city noticed snow falling around 7 a.m., crews began treating slick spots, he said.

The snow tapered off late Monday morning, and Tuesday is expected to be clear, Teefey said.

Snow could be returning to the area again this weekend, but Hennecke said the current forecast showed it would be west of Lawrence and Topeka.

While it’s not uncommon for Lawrence to receive snow in November, Hennecke said receiving a third round of snow in early November was different from what the area had seen in recent years.

“Compared to the last couple of seasons, we are seeing a little more,” she said. “But when you are in this time of year, this is where we are seeing the shifting weather patterns.”

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