Winter weather causing travel problems in Wichita, SC Kansas

Icy Road Sign
Icy Road Sign (AP Photo)

WICHITA, Kansas – The winter weather blowing through Kansas is bringing snowy and icy conditions to a large portion of the KSN viewing area.

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Sedgwick County emergency dispatchers say even if it doesn’t look that bad, you need to slow down and take your time to get where you’re going safely.

Wichita street crews have been doing their part to try to keep roads clear and keep ahead of the freezing rain.

The city put all 60 of its salt-and-sand snow plows out on the streets Wednesday afternoon. KSN had the opportunity to ride along with one of those drivers who said he would be continuing to run his route over trouble spots as long as necessary.

“Right now, our main focus is bridges, hills, curves and intersections,” said plow operator Chris Foulk. “Want to make sure that bridges aren’t freezing up and intersections, stuff like that. We’re putting material down before there’s any issue at all.”

Foulk says drivers should take it easy.

“I’ve got family and my community. I want to make sure that everybody gets home safely and my job’s a big part of that. Anything I can do to make the roads safe for others is what I’m here for.  “You don’t want to rush somewhere and then not get there. You want to make sure you get where you’re going safely.”

Crash on S. Broadway at the Bid Ditch in Haysville. (Photo Courtesy: Wes Young)
Crash on S. Broadway at the Bid Ditch in Haysville. (Photo Courtesy: Wes Young)

There have been numerous traffic crashes on Wichita’s highways and roadways as a result of the weather.

Near K-254 and Rock Rd. a trailer flipped over causing traffic problems. No one was injured in that crash.

Another crash was reported on northbound I-235 north of Kellogg in Wichita where the highway was closed for a while. That crash left one person in critical condition.

A third crash occurred on I-235 on the West Street overpass when a vehicle lost control and rolled down an embankment. The driver of the vehicle was injured and taken to Via Christi St. Francis Hospital.

The Sedgwick County Emergency Accident Reporting Plan was put in place shortly before 3:30 p.m. Anyone involved in a non-injury crash in Wichita that did not involve alcohol and where the vehicle are driveable may go to any QuikTrip or Quik Shop, fill out an accident reporting form and send it in to the Wichita Police Department.

Sedgwick County emergency dispatchers say law enforcement officers in Sedgwick County worked about 30 traffic related incident Wednesday afternoon. That included 16 injury crashes between 4 and 6 p.m.

There also have been a lot of falls in the Wichita area.

The Via Christi health system says they’ve seen 10 patients who’ve come into the system’s emergency rooms after they’ve fallen on ice.

The Reno County Sheriff’s Office’s Facebook page shows numerous posts from visitors who indicate a number of roads in the county are icy and slick. The department reports deputies investigating some crashes are having difficulty standing due to the icy conditions.

The Hays Police Department says it has received at least a dozen reports of vehicle crashes due to the winter weather. The department says it began snowing heavily around 3 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, followed by slick roads. Hays Police officials say the crashes have been minor, but are reminding drivers to take it slow.

The Kansas Highway Patrol’s Troop F located in Kechi reports 40 traffic-related incidents occurred in its 13-county area. Troop F covers Barton, Stafford, Pratt, Barber, Rice, Reno, Kingman, Harper, Harvey, Sedgwick, Sumner, Butler and Cowley counties.

Statewide, KHP reports there were a total of 77 traffic-related incident reported as of 8 p.m.

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