Wichita crews on standby ahead of winter storm, reminders given to protect kids, pets

Published: Dec. 30, 2021 at 8:02 PM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - A winter storm tracking toward Kansas brings chances for snow accumulation and the threat of ice. The storm also includes a drastic drop in temperature with the high for New Year’s Day expected in the mid-teens. Ahead of the winter blast, Storm Team 12 issued a Weather Alert Day for Friday night through most of the day Saturday, Jan. 1.

Looking ahead, the City of Wichita is on standby with its plow trucks equipped with salt and sand mixtures. Wichita Interim Assistant Director of Public Works & Utilities Ben Nelson said the city is ready to deploy its 60 plow trucks and 150 workers once the storm hits.

“Our staff will continue to monitor weather forecasts, national weather service provides updates every few hours in terms of the precipitation, the type of precipitation, as well as the timing. We’ll alter any sort of activation response accordingly,” Nelson said.

The incoming storm also comes with a reminder to protect pets from the dangerous low temperatures.

“It’s really important to make sure that they have adequate shelter during this cold snap,” said Kansas Humane Society Director of Marketing and Communications Ericka Goering. “So, a dog house that is really well insulated, it’s up off of the ground, they have warm bedding in there, some straw. Or, we really recommend you bring them at least into a garage or maybe a basement, a bathroom, a room like that where they can still stay warmer than they would outside in a dog house.”

Ascension Via Christi Pediatrician Dr. Amy Seery said with the cold expected this weekend, you should be weary if you or your children are outside for an extended period of time.

“Anytime it’s below freezing, either by the actual temperature or you’re factoring in the wind chill, you want to be mindful of how long you’re outdoors. It’s still great for kids to get bundled up in good, warm clothing and go out and run around for 15-20 minutes. But, maybe by the end of that 15-20 minutes, bringing them back inside and making sure that they’re staying warm, (making sure) that they haven’t gotten too wet, that their layers are still functioning to keep them nice and warm,” making sure hands and feet are doing okay,” Dr. Seery said.

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