Snow-bound residents wait for crews to clear streets - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

Snow-bound residents wait for crews to clear streets

Road crews are dealing with frigid temperatures and strong winds as they work to remove several inches of snow from around the metro. Road crews are dealing with frigid temperatures and strong winds as they work to remove several inches of snow from around the metro.
Santa Fe Towing uses Hummer to free vehicles that tow trucks can't get Santa Fe Towing uses Hummer to free vehicles that tow trucks can't get
Snow totals from Feb. 4-5 snowstorm Snow totals from Feb. 4-5 snowstorm
AT&T van is stuck AT&T van is stuck

Road crews are dealing with frigid temperatures and strong winds as they work to remove nearly a foot of snow from around the Kansas City area.

Slide offs and stuck vehicles were all too common on area roads and streets.

Streets are so snow packed that even tow trucks are struggling.

Santa Fe Tow Service's general manager, Pat Leary, used a Hummer to get an AT&T van free after it got stuck in the 1700 block of North 66th Street in Kansas City, KS. KCK crews will be out until at least 4 a.m. Thursday, and officials asked for residents' patience.

Fire crews are struggling to respond to fires in these frigid conditions.

"Overall, an impressive storm with a well-behaved forecast. There really weren't any surprises, and from a winter weather forecast standpoint, this storm was easy to spot since last Thursday and Friday," said Chris Suchan, chief meteorologist for KCTV5.

Suchan said the snow flurries will continue through Wednesday morning and into the early afternoon with gusty winds blowing and drifting the snow.

"Some 3- to 4-foot drifts will be possible, and it will feel like it is 10 below zero to 20 below zero with strong wind gusts," Suchan said.

Highs will struggle to get back to 10 degrees for Wednesday afternoon. Morning temperatures will be well below zero.

In Overland Park, crews had to start again Wednesday morning at removing snow after blowing snow again covered up streets overnight. The hope is to have 50 plows plow 1,900 miles of roads by Thursday.

"It would be nice to have everything hit by tonight, but realistically I don't know if we are going to get it all done," said Greg Scharff, superintendent of public works for Overland Park. "We are geared for 4 inches of snow ... and when we get excessive amounts the timeline doubles and triples."

Overland Park residents can check out the city's snow operations map which shows locations of snow plows and traffic cameras, which display current street conditions. Click here to see more.

Kansas Department of Transportation crews are reporting 2- to 4-foot snow drifts along area highways.

Crews are not using much salt because freezing temperatures make the salt ineffective. Officials are asking drivers to use caution on ramps, flyover and bridge areas. They will continue snow plow operations into Thursday.

The Johnson County Transit is operating snow routes only. The Johnson County courthouse and government offices will open at 10 a.m. Wednesday. Neighbors are encouraged to check on the elderly because Meals on Wheels is closed Wednesday.

In Kansas City, KS, Metro and Unified Government Transit routes will not resume service until after 10:30 a.m., due to requests by the state to remain off the roads.

Metro and MAX routes are operating on the Missouri side of the region Wednesday morning, however, customers can expect an approximate 10-minute delay because of current road conditions and increasing traffic.

Kansas City has suspended trash, recycling and bulky item pickup on Wednesday due to the weather. All services will be delayed one day for the rest of the week. Friday services will occur on Saturday.

There are some neighborhoods in Kansas City, MO, that have not been plowed since the snow began.

That meant some residents had to walk to work, the grocery store or the bus stop for buses that were running behind schedule.

Some residents took the snow-packed roads in stride, saying they know road crews are doing their best. Others were frustrated at the delays in seeing a plow.

The city has installed GPS tracking systems that capture and report activity for city snow plows throughout Kansas City in real-time. Click here to view trackable online GPS snow plow map.

The city they said they are deploying plows to neighborhoods needing the most attention. Crews will run until 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.

In Kansas City, residents are urged not to park on the street in order to make it easier for snow plow operators to do their jobs. If you must park on the street, you are asked to park on the west side of streets running north and south and the north side of streets running east and west.

Getting some cars moved could be quite a task since they are buried in more than a foot of snow. Some residents can work from home, but others weren't able to do so and had to hope for understanding bosses when they couldn't make it in.

Overland Park resident Brian Prentice, president of the Blue Fountain Home Owners Association, said he understands getting the main thoroughfares cleared first. But he said side streets and neighborhoods should be on a rotation because he said his neighborhood is always one of the last done.

When someone gets stuck, neighbors and strangers are often quick to jump in and help out. Snow melt and kitty litter are often used to help plus shovels.

When one vehicle got stuck at 63rd Street and Wornall Road, several people jumped in to help but after 15 minutes the driver was going nowhere. A woman suggested putting car mats under the tires. KCTV5's crew used their floor mats and sure enough with some pushing the man was able to get his vehicle free.

With many businesses and governments shuttering their doors on Tuesday, tow trucks weren't overwhelmed. But the return to work on Wednesday meant more wrecks and tow trucks in hot demand. The layer of ice from the weekend underneath nearly a foot of snow meant roads were surprisingly slick.

And we have more chances for white stuff in your StormTrack 5 forecast.

"The next system looks disorganized late Friday into Saturday with only a few snow showers in the forecast, rather than a robust winter storm which models were flirting with a few days ago," Suchan said.

For the latest information from Kansas City's most accurate weather forecasters, click here.

KCTV5's DeAnn Smith, Heather Staggers, Jeanene Kiesling, Sandra Olivas and Alan Shope contributed to this report.

Copyright 2014 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

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