If you drove to work Thursday morning through roads covered in slush, you may have remembered those same roads coated in ice two days earlier. So what was different?
There were freezing temperatures and precipitation both nights; city crews used all 60 trucks to put down sand and salt.
But the sand and salt stayed on the roads before Thursday morning’s commute while it was washed away Tuesday morning. That’s because of the type of rain, said Alan King, Wichita’s director of public works.
“You might have noticed that the results looked better, and a lot of that has to do with the weather cooperating with us,” King said. “Just as the rain comes down and then freezes, that happened again this time, but the amount that came down wasn’t so hard that it washed the roads and washed the material off, so when it started to freeze we still had some material on the roads.”
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The roads were clear enough by mid-morning that half of the trucks were diverted to neighborhood feeder roads, King said. Neighborhood streets do not get treated.
Of the 5,000 lane miles of streets in the city, only the 1,500 lane miles on the primary and secondary routes get treated, which can take up to eight hours, King said. You can track city trucks and plows here: www.wichita.gov/PWU/Pages/SnowRemoval.aspx
There were still slick spots as slush remained on the primary roads Thursday morning. The trucks kept their snow blades up so they could work faster while letting traffic take care of the slush, King said.
And if this week has you concerned about the sand and salt stockpiles, don’t be. King said the city has plenty. Some of it will be used Thursday night in anticipation of more freezing.
A Thursday morning tweet from the Wichita National Weather Service showed the next batch of freezing rain moving into the area.
1105 am – Next batch of freezing rain moving into south central KS and the Wichita metro. #kswx pic.twitter.com/czBOeE0VwA
— NWS Wichita (@NWSWichita) February 22, 2018
One woman was rescued by firefighters after her car slid into the Little Arkansas River two days after an Oklahoma game warden warmed up a bald eagle whose wings were covered in ice.
Wichita police put the emergency accident reporting plan in effect Thursday morning. It allows drivers to report a minor crash at a police station, gas station or online as long as no injuries or alcohol are involved.
If you want a better chance of avoiding a cranky state trooper, follow this Kansas kid’s advice and slow down.
Jason Tidd: 316-268-6593, @Jason_Tidd