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Winds damage hundreds of traffic signs across Kansas

Kansas highway in dust storm
Kansas highway in dust storm(KWCH)
Published: Dec. 16, 2021 at 5:52 PM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - The Kansas Department of Transportation said hundreds of traffic were damaged on Wednesday as destructive winds moved through the state. In some cases, the high winds caused metal signs to pull away from the posts – shearing them off and blowing them away.

KDOT said signs in every county were affected to some degree. Two of the hardest-hit areas are Barton and Rush counties. Areas of significant sign damage also include Pawnee and Rice counties and northern Stafford County. At one point Wednesday afternoon, KDOT closed highways in that region because of low visibility caused by blowing dust.

According to a preliminary KDOT estimate, at least 100 stop signs were missing in the Great Bend area. Crews working since Wednesday night installed about 30 temporary stop signs in Barton County, and more will need to be replaced. The temporary signs are 6 inches narrower. KDOT is working to gather signs from supplies in other areas and is ordering new signs as well. Rush County lost an estimated 70 stop signs, which are also in the process of being replaced.

It’s not clear when all the signs can be replaced, but KDOT crews are prioritizing key intersections and has identified where stop signs are missing. The affected highways include, but aren’t limited to, K-4, U.S. 56, K-156 and U.S. 281.

If you see a sign down or blown over away from the roadway, you’re asked to contact the nearest KDOT office, or send an email to KDOT#PublicInfo@ks.gov with the highway name/intersection, the name of the nearest town and the county name.

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