Wichitans find ways to beat the cold, snow

WICHITA, Kan. – – The snow continues to blanket the Wichita area tonight.

As the temperatures drop into the single digits, it poses a nuisance for those who are having to brave the cold.

Rico Ragazzone ventured out in the frigid and snowy conditions to grab a bag of ice melt before it got even worse outside.

“I just figured I don’t want anyone falling or anything like that so might as well get it done and over with today,” said Ragazzone.

Ragazzone says the driving conditions weren’t too favorable.

“It was pretty good this morning but now its just gotten bad, roads are getting real slick,” said Ragazzone.

For others, like Cecil McCrary, he also needed to stock up on some of the essentials for the cars at the nursing home he works at.

“We want to make our drivers have their windows all cleaned and see out and not end up in any accidents,” said McCrary.

Wayne Butterfield, the General Manager with Indian Hills Hardware says he saw brisk crowd from the minute they opened the doors Saturday morning.

“That sudden change in temperature made it real in everybody’s mind and their out here scrambling to find what they need,” said Butterfield.

Butterfield says several items were flying off the shelves.

“Ice melt, snow shovels, the windshield de-icer, lock de-icers,” said Butterfield.

While many ventured out in the cold for various reasons, others had to work in it.

Firefighters battled a fire at some town homes near May and Martindale Saturday afternoon.

Wichita Deputy Fire Chief Tammy Snow says fighting the fire in the cold didn’t make things any easier.

“Besides just the temperatures being frigid, is keeping our hose lines from freezing up and obtaining water supply from the hydrants,” said Snow.

Snow says keeping firefighters warm, even while battling a blaze, isn’t something easy to do.

“We rotate them into that rehab bus where they can go in and get warm, they also take care of them, make sure their vitals are good,” said Snow.

Wichita Public Works and Utilities crews have also been working around the clock to try and keep the roadways safe.

Alan King, Director of Public Works and Utilities, says all 60 trucks have been deployed since midnight.

They’ve been laying the salt and sand mix along the 1,500 lane miles across the city.

King says if the snow picks up, they will look into beginning to plow the roads.