WICHITA, Kansas (KSN) – As people get ready to hit the road this Thanksgiving Wichita street crews are preparing to keep them safe. They city has brought in extra salt, but they’re also preparing for the rain before any potential sleet or snow arrive.
The city has 60 trucks ready to spread a sand and salt mixture on area arterial streets. But, before they start taking those precautions they need to address the potential for flooding.
Wednesday, work crews went around to about 200 hotspots and began clearing debris from storm drains.
The City’s director of public works, Alan King, says planning for winter storms actually is a year-round process.
“Those planning efforts go year round starting off with identifying additional equipment that we can mothball and have available for snow and ice,” said King. “Extra trucks, hiring some folks.”
While the 60 trucks will be sent out Thanksgiving night, with the possibility of rain washing out the sand and salt mixture, city crews are ready for a long weekend.
“So, we could see our crews out in 12-hour shifts around the clock 24 hours starting Thanksgiving, uh midnight, all the way through Monday morning,” King said.
Darrin Deutscher with the Wichita Stormwater Management Department said leaves blown from yards into the streets can clog storm drains, and that can be a big problem.
“When they brush those leaves out into the street, it makes more work for street cleaning because they sweep all of the gutters, we only take care of the catch basins,” said Deutscher. “But that stuff runs down into the catch basins and that is what causes it to flood.”
With crews working around the clock, some people are thankful to see those workers in their neighborhood.
“I was actually wanting to take them some hot chocolate because they had been out here like working so hard, and they were hear like, literally, all day and all night,” said Wichita resident Tammy Arellano-Lopez.
The City of Wichita only sends out salt and sand trucks to cover the major routes around town as well as areas near schools. So, if you need to get out over the Thanksgiving weekend, take a little extra time and slow down.
City of Wichita street treatments may include using brine solution