Weekend winter storm forecast for Kansas – Osage County Online | Osage County News

Weekend winter storm forecast for Kansas

A winter storm system is forecast to descend across Kansas with the heaviest forecast of snow in the northern half of the state Saturday night into mid-day Sunday with snow and extreme blowing snow that will drastically limit visibility to those on affected Kansas roadways.

The Kansas Division of Emergency Management is reminding Kansans that road travel is discouraged during extreme winter storm situations.

KDEM is coordinating with the Kansas National Guard to place stranded motorists assistance response teams throughout the forecast most heavily impacted areas and will staff the State Emergency Operations Center during deployment of these teams. If the need arises the SMART teams will deploy to assist local law enforcement with stranded motorists.

“Kansans are urged to change or delay their travel plans in these areas until the storm moves through,” said Angee Morgan, KDEM deputy director. “Some areas will see gusting winds which will cause blizzard like and whiteout conditions with areas of blowing and drifting snow. This could cause extremely hazardous traveling conditions.  If you plan to travel, use caution and make sure your car emergency kit is stocked.”

Winter road conditions are accessible by dialing 511 from a mobile phone anywhere in Kansas; outside Kansas call 1-866-511-5368 (KDOT). Road conditions many also be viewed on the Kansas Department of Transportation web site at http://kandrive.org.

If you must travel, be sure your car’s gas tank is full and you have an emergency kit. Vehicle emergency kits should include blankets, flashlights, batteries, a cell phone charger, hand-warmers, high-energy food snacks, bottled water, necessary medications, a snow shovel, flares and other emergency supplies. Make sure your cell phone is charged and someone is aware of your itinerary, including expected time of arrival.

Information on winter driving tips is available from the Kansas Highway Patrol at http://www.kansashighwaypatrol.org/259/Winter-Driving-Tips.

Outdoor pets are especially vulnerable to bitter cold and extreme wind chills. Bring outdoor pets inside if possible or ensure that they have a draft-free enclosure with straw-type bedding that is large enough for your pets to lie down, but small enough to hold in body heat if they must remain outside. Always make sure that your pets have access to food and non-frozen water. For additional pet safety information, visit the American Veterinary Medical Association http://avma.org, and for general winter preparedness information, visit www.ready.gov.

For a complete list of items for an emergency kit, see www.ready.gov.

Graphic from NWS Topeka Situation Report, 5:32 a.m. Nov. 23, 2018.

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