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Winter storm heading to Kansas

2/3/2014

Special to The Hays Daily News

With a significant winter storm system forecast to hit the state Tuesday, state officials are urging all Kansans to make sure they are prepared.

"This storm is looking to be the largest winter storm we have had in 2014," Gov. Sam Brownback said. "Although the storm will hit most of the state, the most affected areas will be the northeast, north-central and south-central regions. We urge motorists to be prepared for snowy road conditions and limited visibility due to blowing snow."

"Our State Emergency Operations Center is ready to activate at a moment's notice to assist local authorities, should they need our help," said Maj. Gen. Lee Tafanelli, the adjutant general and director of the Kansas Division of Emergency Management. "We ask Kansans to make sure your home emergency kit is stocked with enough water and nonperishable food for everyone in the household for a minimum of three days. Have a safe alternate heat source, blankets, flashlights and batteries, a battery-operated weather radio, medications and other essentials to remain safely at home."

"We advise postponing travel plans, if possible; however, if you must be on the road, make sure your vehicle's emergency kit is stocked, your gas tank is full and your cell phone and charger are with you and someone knows your travel plans," said Col. Ernest Garcia, Kansas Highway Patrol superintendent. "Also, be mindful of all emergency response personnel out on Kansas roadways and give them space to do their jobs to ensure their safety and that of our citizens."

"If you must travel, please give the snow plows plenty of room to do their work," said Mike King, secretary of Kansas Department of Transportation. "Plowing snow can be dangerous work, and fewer vehicles on the road make it easier and safer for the plow operators to do their jobs."

Much of the state is under a winter weather watch, advisory or warning for snow and blowing snow, making travel difficult.

Most snowfall will occur late tonight through early tomorrow morning in the western portion of the state; and between 4 a.m. and 6 p.m. in the central and eastern portion of the state.

Snowfall forecasts are:

* Northwest Kansas -- 3 to 6 inches; 6 to 8 inches in Greeley County tonight through Tuesday morning.

* Southwest Kansas -- 3 to 6 inches, with the heaviest amounts near the Colorado border tonight through mid-day Tuesday.

* North-central Kansas -- approximately 7 inches tonight through Tuesday.

* South-central Kansas -- 6 to 9 inches; 3 to 6 inches in southeast portion of the region tonight through Tuesday.

* Northeast Kansas -- 4 to 9 inches tonight through Wednesday morning.

* Southeast Kansas - 4 to 6 inches Tuesday morning through Tuesday evening.

* KC Metro -- 6 to 8 inches early Tuesday through Wednesday morning.