WICHITA, Kansas — With cold weather heading our way, many people are wondering if the city is ready to take on he next wintery blast after what seemed to be a slow response with the Wichita Whiteout.
Snow, sleet and freezing rain are the last thing anyone in Wichita wants to hear is coming.
“What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about driving on all of that this weekend? I don’t even want to get out, but I have to go out of town on Sunday, so I hope it’s gonna be alright, but I got four-wheel drive so hopefully it’ll be okay,” said Candace Eck, a Wichita resident.
But it looks like inclement weather will indeed be present in Wichita over the next few days.
“It appears that we’re gonna have kind of a mixed bag of precipitation coming through town and as a result of that we’re preparing streets in advance and we’re responding as the storm even unfolds,” said Joe Pajor, Wichita Public Works.
The last snow event crippled the city due to low amounts of its salt/sand mixture on the roads paired with colder than normal temperatures. But city officials say they’ve learned their lesson and now believe they are better prepared for what’s to come.
“We’re in a much better shape in terms of the inventory that we have available, we have about 5500 tons of salt/sand mix, that’s much better than the 1800 tons that we started the last snow event with and so it looks encouraging,” said Pajor.
Officials are optimistic that there will be less of a burden for residents trying to make their way on the roads.
“We will do whatever we have to do to respond to the conditions as they unfold,” said Pajor.
Residents are hopeful about the status of preparation as well.
“I’m glad about that, it’ll be better, but if it’s not I’ll just stay inside and make jewelry,” said Eck.
Officials say their snow maintenance team began hitting the streets this afternoon around 4 p.m., but the city has been putting down brine to help with roads starting Tuesday.