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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Many stay home in face of snowstorm

  • A snowstorm that raked across most of the Midwest Thursday dropped about 10 inches of snow on Leavenworth.
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    A snowstorm that raked across most of the Midwest Thursday dropped about 10 inches of snow on Leavenworth.
    In the days leading up to the arrival of the storm, officials warned against travel and prepared for the worst.
    City offices in Lansing, Leavenworth and Leavenworth County were all closed, aside from emergency personnel. Area schools were also canceled for the day, as were many community events and activity on Fort Leavenworth. National Weather Service Meteorologist Pamela Murray said that by 1 p.m., an NWS observation station in Easton had reported 8 inches of snowfall. Sites in Olathe reported as much as 12 inches of snow, Murray said. And as of Thursday evening, she said the NWS had predicted another round of snowfall for the area, with as much as 1 to 3 additional inches possible.
    Ice and snow, some with lightning behind it, was widespread, Murray said, with winter storm conditions in Oklahoma, Nebraska, Iowa, Arkansas and Missouri.
    None of it took the NWS by surprise, Murray said.
    “This storm was pretty well forecast,” she said, with word getting out as early as Monday.
    According to Leavenworth County Emergency Management Director Chuck Magaha, that advance warning might be part of the reason that there the roads were relatively free of most accidents Thursday, aside from slide offs.
    “I feel that a lot of people heeded the warnings and I feel the people who did travel turned around and went back home,” after encountering the conditions, Magaha said.
    The Kansas Department of Transportation deployed 1,000 drivers and 575 trucks to remove the snow from the state’s highways. The Kansas Highway Patrol called on 235 troopers to help stranded motorists and respond to accidents. According to crash logs from both the KHP and the Kansas Turnpike Authority, no injury accidents had been reported in Leavenworth County and only two accidents overall.
    KDOT had closed large swaths of Interstate 70 through Kansas and the Platte County Sheriff’s Office had closed a portion of Missouri Highway 92 leading into Leavenworth because of a semi-truck blocking the roadway.
    Crews in the local municipalities were working around the clock to clear the snow off major roadways, Magaha said.
    “I think tomorrow, things will be more or less back to normal,” he said, though many roads will remain snowpacked.
    As for the rest of the week into the weekend, Murray said cooler temperatures will keep the snow around for a while, and another storm system appears to be moving into the area, meaning more precipitation in the form of snow or rain could come late Sunday or early Monday.

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