Local residents are bracing for an ice storm that is expected this weekend.

Local residents are bracing for an ice storm that is expected this weekend.

Freezing rain may arrive in the area as early as today, but the worst of the storm is expected to occur Saturday night and Sunday, according to Jared Leighton with the National Weather Service.

Leighton provided a webinar briefing about the storm Thursday to emergency management personnel and other local officials from across the region.

The National Weather Service has issued an ice storm warning that is scheduled to be in effect from noon today until midnight Monday.

“People really need to take the storm seriously,” said Chuck Magaha, director of Leavenworth County Emergency Management.

He said ice accumulation can make travel hazardous, and untreated porches and sidewalks also may be slick.

Magaha said the ice storm also may result in power outages.

Leighton said the freezing rain could begin Friday afternoon or evening. But he was expecting the freezing rain from Friday and Saturday to be a minimal event.

He said the “main event” likely will come Saturday night and continue into Sunday with ice accumulation possible.

He said temperatures could eventually rise above freezing during the day on Sunday, but weather models show varying results.

“Sunday looks to be a little bit of a dicy scenario,” Leighton said.

A graphic created by the NWS predicted that northern Leavenworth County may have between a quarter and half inch of ice accumulation. Southern Leavenworth County may have between a half inch and an inch of ice accumulation.

Leighton said it is anticipated that warm air will push through the area Sunday night and Monday.

It may rain again Monday, but it should not be freezing rain.

Leighton said wind should not be a problem during the storm.

“The winds will be pretty light,” he said.

Maj. Dan Nicodemus, deputy chief of the Leavenworth Police Department, recommends staying home during ice storms.

If someone has to be on roadways, he recommends using commonly traveled roads. He said these roadways tend to be the first ones treated by road crews. He said regular traffic on these roadways also may help prevent the build up of ice.

Nicodemus said drivers also should plan their routes. He said avoiding hills and curves may make traveling on icy roads safer.

He said drivers need to make sure their windshields and mirrors are clear of ice.

With the ice storm, there is a threat of downed power lines.

In a news release, Westar Energy cautions people to always assume a power line is energized and stay away from it. People should call 911 to report downed power lines.

People who are in a vehicle that comes into contact with a power line should remain in the car and call 911. They should wait for help to arrive to ensure they can safely get out of the vehicle, according to the release.

In anticipation of the ice storm, schools around the county canceled classes for today.

The Leavenworth County Transfer station will be closed Saturday in anticipation of the inclement weather, according to Leavenworth County Emergency Management.

All chapel services at Fort Leavenworth have been canceled for this weekend, the Fort Leavenworth Lamp reported.

Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR