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KDOT reopens I-70 after snow, wind stops traffic

2/20/2014

By MIKE CORN

mcorn@dailynews.net

Interstate 70 from WaKeeney to Colorado reopened this morning, part of a rolling wave of closures that started just west of the state line and eventually made its way to WaKeeney.

The closure was the result of poor visibility, according to Joe Finley, a spokesman for the Kansas Department of Transportation.

Even with the reopening, the road surface remains snow-packed and icy, Finley said in an alert issued this morning.

"They just opened up I-70 to the Colorado state line," said Kansas Highway Patrol Trooper Tod Hileman, in WaKeeney as the gates were opened.

There were a number of accidents as a result of the snow, but none resulting in serious injuries.

Hileman said there were a number of slide-offs as a result of the slick roads, and a tractor-trailer jackknifed in Sherman County.

He also said there had been a report of a number of trucks jackknifed in the Quinter area, but arriving troopers found trucks parked along the highway shoulders and on the off ramp.

Hileman said roads remained slick and slushy in spots, but urged caution when trucks were passing.

"If they give it a little bit of time," he said of letting temperatures warm slightly. "It won't be long, and it all will be melted off. Tell everybody to slow down and let it melt off."

Snowfall at the Kansas State University Agricultural Research Center measured just 0.2 of an inch, but at the Colby Research-Extension Service, 2.8 inches fell.