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Warming bus is one way Kansas Citians fight arctic blast of cold weather

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Posted at 9:55 AM, Jan 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-30 15:46:03-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A powerful arctic blast of frigid air overtook the Kansas City area Tuesday night into Wednesday. The shot sent temperatures plummeting below zero with the wind chill at Kansas City International Airport reading -21 degrees. The combination meant Kansas City was colder than parts of Antarctica and Siberia.

The dangerously cold conditions forced the National Weather Service to issue wind chill warnings and advisories for the area until noon Wednesday.

Just about every school district around the metro canceled classes due to the cold. Superintendents said it was too cold for students to wait outside for the bus to get to school. Frostbite and hypothermia can take effect in a matter of minutes, especially if skin is exposed.

LISTEN: The 41 Files Kansas City Podcast crew says KC's cold temps nothing compared to Minnesota, Chicago

“When I walked up and saw the special sign (indicating this bus is a warming bus), I said, ‘I think that’s where I need to be,’” Kendra Overton said with a laugh. “It will help me to not completely freeze over outside.”

The weekday routine had to continue for people like Overton. Her bus ride to work every day includes waiting for a transfer at the downtown Kansas City, Missouri transit center. Wednesday, the bus company, Ride KC, parked buses at transit centers so passengers can wait inside a warm, protected place between transfers.

"It’s a great start to the day. Great coffee, heat, it’s wonderful,” said Keith Hairston, who rides the bus to work every day.

The following transit centers will have warming buses Wednesday:

  • 10th & Main Transit Center, 5 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • 10th & Main Transit Center, 5 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Mission Transit Center, 6:30 to 8:30 a.m.
  • Midtown KCK Transit Center, 6:30 to 8:30 a.m.

The KC Streetcar tweeted to remind people in the downtown area the car is free to ride and is heated. The streetcar runs from 6 a.m. to 12 a.m. Wednesday.

For more information on other warming stations around Kansas City, click here.