City of Wichita officials on Monday said sand supplies used to improve driving conditions during an extended winter storm had been restored to normal levels, but officials are still recommending motorists stay off slick roads if driving conditions deteriorate as weather forecasts predict.
On Sunday, City public works officials said they had low inventories of salt and sand due to last week’s storm that dumped more than 14 inches of snow across the metropolitan area. The City replenished its supply of sand later in the day, said Joe Pajor, the Deputy Director of Public Works & Utilities. He said crews will plow during the storm and only use sand if necessary to preserve the salt-sand mix for the end of the storm. This conservation approach may make roads slicker and more difficult to navigate than they were during last week’s storm. The National Weather Service is predicting up to 13 inches of snow today through Tuesday.
Snow and ice on streets melted significantly over the weekend because of warmer-than-expected temperatures. Sufficient snow melted on emergency routes, so City crews will be able to plow snow toward the curb and avoid pushing snow to the centerline.
Public works officials stressed that the area is under a blizzard warning until noon on Tuesday. Road conditions and visibility are expected to deteriorate throughout today. Blowing snow may make traveling difficult even after the snow ends. Drivers are urged to monitor weather changes and plan accordingly.
The City has 50 crews and 50 plow trucks working 12-hour shifts to clear roads, with a focus on snow emergency routes, which are the main road ways. Under City ordinance, the City does not clean residential streets. Homeowners and businesses are responsible for clearing sidewalks, parking lots and driveways.