KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City area residents began preparing themselves Friday for an impending winter storm expected to bring everything from rain, freezing rain, sleet and eventually snow to the metro.
On Friday morning, nearly a dozen school districts — most located north of Kansas City — announced early dismissals ahead of the storm.
Districts across Kansas City also canceled all after-school and community activities on school property Friday night and through the weekend.
Kansas City Public Schools was among the first to cancel after-school activities Friday due to the weather and said all KCPS buildings would be closed over the weekend.
LINC, which provides after-school child care, would run as normal on Friday, KCPS said.
Blue Springs, Blue Valley, Shawnee Mission, Olathe and Raytown are among the other district that have canceled after-school activities.
Across the state line, Kansas City, Kansas, Public Schools also canceled after-school activities on Friday and said Kidzone was canceled. All students must be picked up from school or have arrangements to ride the bus.
Here are some additional closings that have been reported to 41 Action News:
- Johnson County Community and KCK Community College have closed Saturday;
- The Johnson County Mental Health Center announced at that transportation for its mental health and developmental support clients will close at 7 p.m. on Friday and closed all day Saturday;
- Library branches are scheduled to be open regular hours, but that may change as the weather changes. Hours can be confirmed by calling the Johnson County Central Resource Library at 913-826-4600, visiting the library's website or checking the library's social media accounts at @JoCoLibrary;
- All brances of the Mid-Continent Public Library are also closed Saturday;
- All Children's Mercy Urgent Care locations will close at 5 p.m. on Friday due to the weather, while the National WWI Museym and Memorial announced it will be closed Saturday;
- Liberty's Animal Shelter also is closed Saturday and all youth basketball games in city leagues are canceled Friday and Saturday.
Around 9 a.m., the National Weather Service in Kansas City said that freezing rain had started to occur in northeast Kansas and northwest Missouri. Travelers in that area were advised to be cautious and expect slippery conditions.
In the metro, freezing rain and sleet were expected to begin falling later in the day as temperatures continue to drop, according to 41 Action News chief meteorologist Gary Lezak. Hazardous road conditions will be a possibility for the evening rush hour.
The NWS issued a Winter Storm Warning for the Kansas City area beginning at 6 p.m. Friday and continuing through 6 p.m. Saturday. In all, 3 to 6 inches of snowfall were expected, with ice accumulations of one-tenth to one-quarter of an inch possible.
ICE & SNOW FORECAST: Depending on how quickly (or slowly) the cold air moves in tonight will reflect the amount of ice & snow we measure. Current thoughts: .10-.25" of ice tonight, higher totals southeast. 3-6" of snow with higher totals northeast. pic.twitter.com/z5fFmz9T25— Lindsey Anderson (@lnanderson) January 10, 2020
With the threat of freezing rain in the forecast, Evergy said crews were ready to respond if built-up ice or snow caused power outages.
“We are watching the weather closely. Evergy crews are ready to begin restoring power as soon as safely possible if this storm causes outages,” said Gina Penzig, Evergy's manager of external communications.
Evergy said if outages do occur, it will focus first on restoring power to emergency facilities and then to the largest number of customers.
As of Friday morning, a few flights at Kansas City International Airport were canceled or delayed on Friday and Saturday. It was unclear if the cancellations were weather-related.
Travelers can check flykci.com for updates on their flight status.
Road crews in the metro said they were not expecting to put any treatment down on the roads until the rain on Friday transitioned to freezing rain and sleet.
“We probably will not be pretreating it ahead of Friday night because we don’t believe the material will stick due to all of the wind and rain that is predicted to precede it," said Mike Quizon, public affairs manager for the Kansas Department of Transportation. "But once the rain comes, we will then treat all of the major highways focusing on bridges, overpasses and other elevated roadways."
Kansas City, Missouri, Public Works crews were also preparing for the inclement weather. Spokeswoman Maggie Green said with the mixture of rain, freezing rain and snow, it will be a little tricky.
"If we salt too soon, the rain will wash that salt away so we're really keeping a close eye on the weather today," Green said. "Our crews are ready to deploy as soon as we start to see temps drop this afternoon."
There will be an overnight crew salting and pretreating, and then all crews will show up Saturday as soon as the snow accumulates.
"We will send plows out to start plowing the roadways," Green said. "If you do see a plow please leave plenty of space for crews to do their work. If you can avoid at all costs during the heat of the storm, which will be later tonight, tomorrow morning, please do avoid that and just be careful out there."
Green said the public works department currently has a capacity for about 32,000 tons of salt, and she added crews will be well-suited for the snow the next couple of days.
"We have an arterial team that goes out and does the major roadways, bridges, stuff like that, and then we have a residential team that will also be out," Green said. "So we are prepped for all hands on deck for this storm."
A Solid Waste Job Fair that was scheduled for Saturday morning will now be postponed until Feb. 1.
The blast of wintry weather was expected to hit the area just one day before the Kansas City Chiefs’ AFC Divisional Round showdown against the Houston Texans at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday. On Friday, crews said they were prepared to work around the clock to clear snow from the stadium.
The 41 Action News weather team on Friday was forecasting a cold but partly sunny Chiefs game day, with highs around 30 degrees and a 30% chance of a snow shower later in the game.
For the latest forecast and radar information, click here.
MoDOT Traveler Information Map: http://traveler.modot.org/map/index.html
KanDrive Map: http://www.kandrive.org/kandrive
Real Time Snow Plow Maps:
- KCMO: http://maps.kcmo.org/apps/SnowPlowMap/
- Overland Park: https://www2.opkansas.org/maps-and-stats/winter-storm/
- Shawnee: https://cityofshawnee.org/Departments/Public_Works/Snow_Removal_Operations
- Lawrence: plow truck location & cameras: https://lawrenceks.org/snow/
- Merriam: https://merriamks.loctech.com/merriamks/
Local City Snow Information:
- Lee’s Summit:https://cityofls.net/public-works/street-programs-maintenance/snow-ice-control
- Bonner Springs:http://www.bonnersprings.org/501/Snow-Removal
- North KC: http://www.nkc.org/departments/public_works/public_works_services
This is a developing story and will be updated.