State plans ahead for winter storm

Governor Sam Brownback is urging Northeast Kansas residents to stay home Tuesday if possible.

In a press conference Monday afternoon, Brownback said this round of snow could bring more winter weather with it.

“It’s a lot of snow, a lot of cold and a lot of wind,” he says, “So you got your major elements for some really potentially quite dangerous situations.”

He’s decided to close all state offices in Shawnee County from 6 a.m. Tuesday to 6 a.m. Wednesday.

“You probably will be able to get people into work tomorrow safely, but not get them home safely,” Brownback says, “And we saw recently in Atlanta, a similar situation develop in Atlanta that really turned disastrous.”

Kansas Department of Transportation crews are ready to work around the clock.

“We have over 600 snow plows statewide, both on the turnpike and also the DOT side with over 1,100 operators ready,” says Mike King with the Kansas Department of Transportation.

Once that snow is cleared, Brownback says wind chills in the negatives could last several days. With propane prices spiking in the last few weeks, staying warm could be the next battle.

“Some folks haven’t filled their tank up or they’ve bought a third of a tank when they normally buy a full tank,” Brownback says.

Making propane deliveries could get tricky.

“It’s another obstacle that our marketers are faced with,” says Greg Noll with the Propane Marketer’s Association of Kansas, “Whether the price is high or low or indifferent, road conditions play a big part in our business.”

If you can stay home, do so.

“(We) want to be able to get our roads cleared, and want to be able to get to emergency personnel and it helps if you don’t have as many people out on the roads,” Brownback says.

For those who can’t avoid those roads, a remind from KDOT – if you do get stranded stay in your car and call *47 or *KTA for help.

Brownback says if he decides to close offices on Wednesday as well, he’ll likely make that announcement Tuesday afternoon.

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