Power outages and travel troubles continue to be concerns in the wake of the winter weather we received this week. Here's the latest information from the Governor Brownback's office:
Icy Roads not the only danger from winter storms
Icy roads and skidding vehicles are not the only hazard created by the recent winter storms.
"Not only are roads slick and slushy, so are sidewalks and driveways," said Dr. Robert Moser, secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. "Every year, we have a number of people injured from slipping on the ice. There are also usually instances where people overexert themselves while shoveling their driveway or performing other outdoor work."
Although current weather conditions do not indicate dangerous temperatures, dress in appropriate clothing when working outside, including sturdy boots or shoes that give good traction.
"And don't over-do it," said Moser. "Take frequent breaks to avoid physical stress that could lead to heart attack or other problems."
Moser also advised Kansans to keep an eye on forecasts and let friends and family know if you'll be out driving during inclement weather.
Power being restored
Power companies are working diligently to restore electricity to Kansas customers left without power due to the storm.
Westar Energy reports approximately 1,579 customers (4:50 p.m.) are still off-line in the following counties: Allen, Bourbon, Butler, Chase, Coffey, Cowley, Douglas, Elk, Greenwood, Johnson, Leavenworth, Lyon, Marion, Osage, Sedgwick, Shawnee, Sumner, Wilson, Woodson, and Wyandotte.
Kansas City Power and Light reports approximately 14,700 customers are without power in the Kansas City, Kan., side of the Metro area as of 4:50 p.m.
Kansans are reminded to avoid downed power lines and report them to the local power company or 911.
Shelters and warming centers
The American Red Cross will open a shelter at the Pomona Community Center in Franklin County. Approximately 60 homes are still without power and their homes are 50 degrees or colder. The Pomona Fire Department and the Sheriff's Office will be conducting wellness checks and transporting people to the shelter, as needed. Anderson County has opened a shelter at the VFW Hall in Garnett.
Some communities are opening warming centers to provide individuals with a warm place to go during the day during power outages. The following warming centers are open or on standby. For hours, contact the facilities:
Lyon County: One warming center, Neosho Rapids
Leavenworth County: Three warming centers --Tonganoxie Fire Department, Leavenworth Fire Department Headquarters and Fairmount Township Fire Department, Basehor
Linn County: Blue Mound Senior Center. Working to open Centerville and Parker Senior Centers and Prescott City Hall as warming centers
Other counties have locations identified and/or on standby.
U.S. 83 and K-23 in Meade County remain closed to southbound traffic entering Oklahoma due to road closures in that state. While no roads are currently closed in Kansas and road conditions are improving, numerous other roads are partly to completely snow packed in the southwest, central and eastern regions of the state.
Although snow is coming to an end, highways, including ramp areas, bridges and overpasses could be slick. Motorists should drive with extreme caution and use speeds appropriate for the driving conditions.
Wet roads may possibly refreeze overnight, so black ice will be a concern for drivers. If you must travel tonight/overnight, be sure to take it slow, allow plenty of extra time, stay a safe distance from other vehicles and drive for the existing roadway conditions. And as always, put your cell away and buckle up!
For information on road conditions, go online to http://511.ksdot.org