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Threat of rare April snow in Kansas City has road crews on alert

KCMO Public Works Crews
Posted at 4:55 PM, Apr 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-19 19:26:52-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Public works crews across Kansas City are gearing up for a possible rare April snow.

When the weather turned warm earlier this spring, Kansas City, Missouri, Public Works employees kept their eyes on the road, but did so while ditching their snow plows and salt spreaders for equipment to patch up potholes.

The possibility of snow during Tuesday morning's commute has put those pothole repairs on hold.

"We're used to doing snow operations intertwined with pothole patching," KCMO Public Works spokesperson Maggie Green said Monday. "Our crews know what to do and they are ready for it. I think all of us ideally wouldn't be having to deal with snow in mid-April but here we are. Our crews know what to do."

Green says a night shift crew will be ready to put salt on the roads as soon as snow arrives. As of now, KCMO crews will not be pretreating the roads due to the possibility it might rain.

"We have to be very careful," Green said. "We don't want to put down salt or brine down and then have it wash away from the rain. We are just watching the forecast as close as we can."

On the other side of the state line, Kansas Department of Transportation workers are pretreating some roads.

"We aren't doing a whole lot," KDOT Johnson County area superintendent Drake Jennins said Monday, adding crews have pretreated some bridges just to be safe. "If it comes in as rain, that's not going to do any good. It's just going to wash it all off. But, we are doing a little pretreating just in case it does come in as snow."

Missouri Department of Transportation employees based in Kansas City took the time on Monday to get their trucks ready for the storm.

Crews with MoDOT will be watching the forecast close to determine what to do when it comes to treating the roads before the storm arrives. A MoDOT spokesperson said crews might treat the bridges and overpasses Monday night as those spots can be slick.

The department does want to remind drivers of this before heading to work on Tuesday.

"When things like this happen at this time of year, you've got a combination a snow event and you've got oil from vehicles on the road," spokesperson Markl Johnson said. "When those two mix, you are going to have a situation where you are really are going to have to pay attention and slow down."