OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Many in the metro woke up to the first substantial winter storm of the season. Roads and houses were covered with inches of snow, prompting families and commuters to brave the cold and clean up the aftermath.
Keith Fitzsimmons, who has been a resident of Overland Park for 35 years, says he is used to the hustle.
“Pretty typical here in Overland Park. About two, two and a half inches maybe. Really really wet,” Fitzsimmons said. “I’ve seen them go from pretty nasty early this morning to relatively clear right now.”
He chipped away at his driveway for a few hours after the snowfall subsided. His biggest advice to his neighbors is to “get your driveway shoveled so if there is any sunshine today or tomorrow, it’ll melt it off and it’ll clear when the rest of the driveways are just gonna be icy to use.”
A few doors down the block, Connor Callahan was pleased to wake up in the morning to find that city crews had already done most of the clearing.
“It didn’t look quite this beautiful yet, but you could tell they were already out when I woke up,” Callahan said.
Meg Ralph with the city of Overland Park says crews have been treating the roads overnight and will focus on plowing throughout Saturday.
“Our crews work on 12-hour shifts, and so we’ve got one shift done and another shift prepared to come back in this evening," Ralph said. "And so we’re ready to keep plugging at it until we can get to all the streets."
Like many cities across the metro, staffing shortages will delay some of the operations.
“We’re at about 130 out of 170, which would be like our full staffing ideal scenario,” Ralph said.
She expects it to take about 24-48 hours after the storm for the roads to be completely cleared. Major roads like Metcalf, Antioch and Quivira will be cleared by Saturday evening.
“It’s not too bad, the major arteries are of course a lot cleared off,” said commuter Curtis Frame. “Do not hit the roads unless you have a reason to. I think everybody takes it a little bit for granted that they are just gonna get in their car and zip across town.”