Southeast Kansas Road Conditions

Kansas Department of Transportation area engineer George Dockery says it's been a battle all day.

Crews have been working on major routes throughout southeast Kansas since the snow began falling, but heavy rates of snowfall have hindered progress.

Dockery says the north-south routes throughout the area are particularly bad.

He says east-west routes are somewhat better in places, but two to three foot snowdrifts along those routes could lead to very hazardous driving conditions.

Dockery says his crews did face some problems Tuesday afternoon in Cherokee county.

When Oklahoma Department of Transportation officials closed east-bound I-44 into the state, much of the traffic diverted onto US 166 in Baxter Springs looking for an alternative route.

That lead to several cars and semis stuck along the route.

Another problem occurred when a semi became stuck in deep snow at the Riverton roundabout on US 69.

Dockery says the stuck semi backed up traffic, making it difficult for road crews to clear a path for a tow tuck.

However, both situations have been resolved at this time.

Dockery says many of the major routes, like highway 400 and US 69 could be in good condition by Wednesday afternoon, but it may take longer for several of the other routes.

He says once the snow stops falling, crews will still be battling high winds that could cause snow to drift onto highways behind the plows.

Dockery says chemical agents aren't necessarily an option for the crews right now either because of the projected cold temperatures.

He says with temperatures expected to be well below ten degrees Fahrenheit, the salt brine used to help clear roads becomes ineffective.

If we see some sun on Wednesday, Dockery says that will greatly aid crews in their battle to help clear the roads.

However, he still believes it may be sometime Thursday afternoon before driving conditions return to normal in southeast Kansas.

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