UPDATE: Salina Gets Foot Of Snow
KSAL Staff - Thu 08:42 AM 02/21/2013
UPDATED: 9:45 PM all roads open again
The winter storm prompted officials to close Interstate 70 between Salina and Colby in both directions.
The Kansas Department of Transportation and the Kansas Highway Patrol closed I-70 from Salina west to Hays in both directions at 11:30 a.m. due to the large number of slide-off accidents and limited availability of tow trucks. Many roads across the southern and western regions of Kansas are partly to completely snow-packed and travel is being strongly discouraged.
The Kansas Highway Patrol is urging motorists to stay off the road.
Trooper JL Riedel tells KSAL News that roads around Central Kansas are in terrible shape.
Riedel says "the roads are 100 percent snow-packed and icy, with many requiring four-wheel drive capability to be passable. I cannot stress enough that if you don't have to be out on the roads, don't go out and put yourself in a dangerous situation".
Riedel says that there have been multiple vehicles sliding off roads. He says that motorists that don't have to be out will simply be in the way of emergency crews and tow trucks.
Kansas transportation authorities say people in much of the state should just stay home.
Heavy snow has fallen across nearly all of Kansas with accumulations expected to reach more than a foot in some areas.
The Kansas Department of Transportation said about 11 a.m. Thursday that eastbound Interstate 70 near Maple Hill, Interstate 35 in Franklin and Lyons counties and other roads in the Kansas City metropolitan area are closed because of drifting snow and slide-offs. Several semi-trailer trucks are stuck on U.S. 54 in Kiowa County, making it mostly impassable.
The Kansas Turnpike Authority also encouraged people to stay off the turnpike on the entire route from Oklahoma to Kansas City.
Area Snowfall Amounts as of 6 PM
McPherson 13 inches
Ellsworth 13 inches
Lyons 12 inches
Salina 11.7 inches
Fort Riley 8.5 inches
Lincoln 6.5 inches
Manhattan 6 inches