Snow, wind will make morning commute tough but crews are ready - KCTV5 News

Snow, wind make morning commute tough, crews treating roads

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Road crews across the Kansas City area are working hard to ensure your morning commute is a safe one.

A strong winter storm is bringing snow and stout winds to the area. The storm is likely to produce just 1 to 3 inches of snow in the Kansas City area, but winds gusting up to 50 mph will make visibility poor.

Wrecks are already being reported as of 5 a.m. with interstates across the area seeing traffic impacted or even shut down.

Some areas in northern Missouri near the Iowa border could see 5 to 10 inches of snow while areas south of Kansas City will get just a dusting.

Already, a stretch of Interstate 70 in western Kansas from Goodland to the Colorado border is closed because of blizzard-like conditions. Other highways and roads are also closed.

Road crews across both states have tons of salt, sand and other mixtures prepared to ensure you have a safe commute to wherever you are traveling. Crews could not lay down the material in advance because the rain that moved in first would have washed away the treatments.

Because last year's winter was unusually devoid of snow, cities have ample supplies of road treatment mixtures ready for Thursday's storm.

Also, the city of Kansas City asks residents not to park on streets, saying that will impede the work of road crews.

Both the states of Missouri and Kansas reminded motorists to be safe particularly since it's been sometime since drivers have seen significant snow.

"Slow down when driving on snow or ice, and increase the following distance between you and other vehicles," according to an email from the Missouri Highway Patrol. "Drivers have a responsibility to exercise the highest degree of care. Driving conditions can change rapidly as temperatures drop, so be aware of rain changing to ice or sleet."

Motorists should keep at least two to three seconds of space between you and the driver in front of you and that should be doubled while driving during winter weather.

"You go what the conditions allow you to do, and don't push it," Liberty Driving School owner Dan Backhaus said. "When the weather gets bad, this is the most dangerous time on the road."

And absolutely do not text and talk on your smartphone while driving during bad weather. If your car starts to skid, ease off the gas or brake and steer in the direction you want to go.

"Always steer to the last possible moment," Backhaus said.

You should have an ice scraper, flashlight, a bag of sand, blankets and other items in your vehicle. Before hitting the road, make sure your tires are properly inflated and have tire chains if possible as well as make sure your headlights and windshield wipers are working properly.

For school and other closings, click here.

For on-time traffic conditions, click here.

KCTV5's Jonathan Carter, Stephen Mayer and Chief Meteorologist Chris Suchan contributed to this report.

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