High winds decreasing visibility in central Kansas

GREAT BEND, Kansas — The high winds around the state made for some rough driving conditions due to the blowing dust.

“Conditions can change from hour to hour,” said Brad Halseth, Highway Maintenance Superintendent.

Wind speeds and dust creating low visibility in central Kansas, especially along highway 156 through Great Bend.

“I observed out there what we’ve got is an eighth to a quarter mile of visibility through the blowing dust in the area, and we’re going to allow traffic to pass as we slow things down through the area,” said Halseth.

With the skies turning grey and brown, K-Dot put crews out on the road to monitor the conditions and slow down traffic but officers say it’s ultimately up to drivers to be aware.

“This whole section that we’re in right now is blowing dust across the whole state. Just be aware that there is going to be blowing dust and if you see it just slow down,” said Halseth.

Crews have had to shut down highways before and say it is an option.

“If conditions worsen what we will do is we will stop traffic completely or we’ll just pilot car the vehicles back and forth through the area,” said Halseth.

The highway is still open but officials are urging drivers to be cautious, especially if the winds increase even more.

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