October 30, 2014

Snow briefly blankets area, closes schools

Danedri Thompson
dthompson@gardnernews.com
Three-inches of snow blanketed the area on Dec. 20, shuttering classes in Gardner Edgerton and Spring Hill School Districts and keeping law enforcement officers and snow plows busy.
The first winter storm of the season dumped between two-to-three inches of snow just in time for Christmas break. The storm also created challenges for commuters.
Ilena Spalding, public information officer for the Gardner Police Department, said calls for motorist assists started around 4 a.m. last Thursday. Officers logged more than a dozen assists between 4 a.m. and 9 a.m.
“Luckily, we only had one injury accident,” Spalding said.
The accident at U.S. 56 Highway and Cedar Niles Road resulted in minor injuries and slowed traffic briefly during the morning commute.
Spalding said the number of calls and slide-offs on Gardner roads were about typical for an early season snow storm.
Once drivers get used to driving on snow-packed roads later in the season, the number of slide-offs and calls for officer assists typically slows, she said.
The threat of winter weather kept road and ice crews busy as well.
Gardner Public Works, Edgerton Public Works, Kansas Department of Transportation and Johnson County Public Works crews are responsible for clearing many of the roads in and around Gardner and Edgerton.
In Gardner, city workers put an emphasis on clearing main thoroughfares, bridges and on-traffic routes to schools first. Those streets, along with collector and industrial commercial streets are continuously plowed during snowfall.
One exception, however, is 56 Highway or Main Street. KDOT plows that street as well as highways and ramps to Interstate 35.
City officials estimate that it takes between eight and 12 hours to salt city streets and another 24-36 hours to plow the city for one snow cycle.
Snow fall tapered off in the southwestern part of Johnson County between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. By noon, most roads appeared passable.

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