The area received heavy snowfall and strong winds Sunday, which created blizzard conditions and hazardous driving.
Salina received more than 5 inches of snow Sunday, and Glendale, in northwest Saline County, received 6 inches, according to the National Weather Service. That is quite a lot more than the originally predicted 2 to 4 inches that were expected to hit the area.
Several Kansas roads, including parts of Interstate Highway 70, were closed Sunday. At one point, I-70 was closed from WaKeeney to Salina, then later in the day from Salina to Junction City as the storm moved eastward.
A list of closed roads is available at kandrive.org.Winter road conditions are accessible by dialing 5-1-1 from your mobile phone anywhere in Kansas. People outside Kansas may call 1-866-511-5368.
Westar Energy and Midwest Energy reported power outages across multiple counties in the western and northeastern portions of the state.
Gusting winds up to 60 mph created blizzard like and whiteout conditions that made traveling extremely hazardous Multiple wrecks were reported throughout the state, including multiple jackknifed semi trucks on I-70 near Saline, Ellis, Russell and Gove counties.
Multiple churches were closed Sunday.
Gov. Jeff Colyer issued a State of Disaster Emergency declaration for the state in response to the storm that rapidly moved across Kansas. The declaration authorized the use of state resources and personnel to assist with response and recovery operations in affected counties.
The Kansas Department of Emergency Management received reports of vehicles getting stuck in the snow and those individuals leaving their vehicles and walking in the storm.
The safest place for travelers during such storms is to remain in their vehicle, according to the KDEM. Do not get out of your vehicle and walk because road crews may not see you due to visibility issues. Stay in your vehicle, make sure your exhaust pipe is clear and not clogged with snow or ice debris or you run the risk of filling your vehicle is carbon monoxide. Run your car sparingly while you are waiting on help. Keep the window cracked. If you are stuck in the snow call the Kansas Highway Patrol by dialing *HP (47), or *KTA (582) while on the Kansas Turnpike.
Today, forecasters anticipate there will be no additional snow and that driving conditions will continue to improve.
National Weather Service Meteorologist Vanessa Pearce said that today’s temperatures will be in the low to mid-30s; but in the morning, wind chills will make it feel like temperatures are in the single digits.
“Anybody heading out in the morning will want to bundle up,” she said.
Winds will be only 5 to 10 miles an hour, less intense than they were yesterday, Pearce said. She urged drivers to continue to be cautious of road conditions.