WeatherWeather News


Layers of ice creates dangerous road problems in KC metro

Posted at 6:55 AM, Nov 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-26 19:39:30-05

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — The roads are expected to remain slick overnight even as crews work round the clock to improve conditions after a storm dropped more than five inches of snow on Sunday.

Road conditions began to improve Monday afternoon as much of the snow turned to slush on the roadways but there were still many places where the roadways are slick due to snowpacks. 

However, crews said conditions will worsen as the sun goes down and temperatures drop overnight and the roads refreeze. 

Public transportation

Things began to return to normal at Kansas City International Airport Monday after the weather caused 122 flight cancellations Sunday. There were still many delays on Monday as the airport worked to get back on track.




Kansas City buses resumed service at 6 a.m. Monday. All buses went offline at 6 p.m. Sunday after 15 buses got stuck in the snow. Officials said this is only the second time in its history that the KCATA has shut down, the first was in 2014. 

KCATA said on Monday that service is running on 5 to 15-minute delays. Paratransit is about 60 minutes behind schedule. Anyone with any questions can call 816-221-0660 between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. or can check for updates at the on the RideKC Twitter or Facebook.




City streets and highways

In Overland Park, crews tacked the main roads first. The snow boss said most roads were passable by Monday morning, but she advised drivers to continue to take precautions.

"We use straight salt with magnesium chloride to help melt the snow, although it takes sunlight and traction to help activate it. In these colder temperatures and with no sunlight, it will sit there until we get traffic and sunlight to make it work," said Cathy Wilson, one of the city's snow bosses.

A Kansas Department of Transportation spokesperson warned of icy spots on bridges and overpasses.

As Overland Park crews started focusing on residential streets, Wilson said the wet snow is a challenge, especially when there are cars parked on the side streets.

"During a big snow event like this, we encourage everybody to move cars off roads so our plow trucks can get by easily and without incident. Certainly, park in a driveway, park in neighbor's driveway, parking them somewhere other than on the street would help us do our job," Wilson said.

While visibility was clear on the Missouri side, the DOT said most major roads still had snowpack on them Monday morning, even though MoDOT crews had been out treating and plowing the interstates and major roadways.

If you can, stay off the roads so road crews can treat them.  

If you do have to head out, expect snowpack and ice, slow down and give yourself extra time to get to your destination.

Plows in Grandview were hitting the side streets on Monday.

"Today (Monday) the biggest difficulty is the packed in ice. That seems to be the biggest struggle," said Brandon Moore, engineer inspector for Grandview Public Works.

That ice is making it hard to treat.

"You just can't plow it. A plow doesn't get underneath it. When it's down, it stays down," said Moore.

Crews said they are trying everything to clear the roads.

"It does help to plow over top, just to expose it and then we do salt on top of it," Moore said. "Just to help work the salt in."

KCMO crews have had crews out for days. Officials said they will continue to treat as long as need and that does include crews trying to tackle side streets.

"We will continue to put salt down but we need a little warmth to make that salt really work. So, really just be very careful on Tuesday morning," said Chris Hernandez, Communications Director for KCMO. 

Trash pickups

Trash and recycling collection was also impacted by the storm. The City of Kansas City, Missouri said crews were only able to make pick-ups in a limited area, while city-employed contractors held off service until Tuesday. Officials say all pickups scheduled for Monday will happen on Tuesday.