Winter blast closes section of I-70 in western KS - KCTV5


Winter blast closes section of I-70 in western KS

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The winter blast that dumped nearly a foot of snow in southwest Kansas continued north, closing a section of Interstate 70 in western Kansas.

High winds and about 10 inches of snow hit western Kansas by dawn, and the National Weather Service says the storm is moving into northeast Kansas and northwest Missouri on Tuesday.

The Kansas Highway Patrol said Interstate 70 was closed overnight in both directions for about 75 miles from Wakeeney to Colby. Roadways in southwest Kansas have also been closed because of snowpack and icy conditions.

Heather Haltli was traveling with her husband from Hill Air Force Base in Utah to Texas when they hit the storm and stopped overnight in Garden City. She said travel from Denver was treacherous, with rollovers and jackknifed semis.

Some areas in northwest Missouri and northeast Kansas saw snow Monday night, creating slick roads.

The wintry mix included sleet as well, making roads slippery. Some wrecks and slide-offs were reported in the areas of Atchison County, KS, and St. Joseph.

An inch or two inches of snow was expected in these areas.

The Kansas Department of Transportation says several roads are closed because of blizzard conditions in western Kansas and southwest Kansas.

U.S. 54 westbound from Liberal is closed. No lodging is available.

U.S. 160 between the Kansas/Oklahoma state line is closed to U.S. 160/K27 junction. Numerous vehicles were stuck.

As of 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, US 50 from Garden City to Cimarron has been re-opened. 

Few hotel rooms were left on I-70 in western Kansas including Russell.

"Many highways in the northern and southwest regions of the state are partly to completely snowpacked and conditions throughout southwest Kansas are treacherous with high winds causing blowing snow and reduced visibility," KDOT spokeswoman Kim Qualls said in a news release. "Highways, including ramp areas, bridges and overpasses could be slick and motorists should drive with extreme caution and use speeds appropriate for the driving conditions."

Some snowflakes reached the Kansas City area, but we didn't see even a dusting.

For updated weather conditions and road conditions, go to's weather page by clicking here.

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Copyright 2011 KCTV. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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