Blizzard damage in western Kansas; estimates begin as skies finally clear

As Kansans in the western third of the state begin to dig out from under heavy snow, the Kansas Division of Emergency Management will work with counties to determine the extent of damage to public infrastructure and utilities.

KDEM plans to scale back 24-hour operations this evening at 7 p.m. and return to its regular schedule on Tuesday. A reduced staff will remain in the State Emergency Operations Center overnight to receive calls from counties.

As many as an estimated 42,000 customers lost power in Western Kansas due to heavy snow and high winds Saturday night through Sunday. Power crews are beginning to restore power, but are hampered by deep snow and blocked roads.

No additional snow is in the near forecast for Western Kansas with warmer temperatures starting to melt the snow.

In the meantime, KDEM personnel will be keeping an eye on the weather in Southeast Kansas and the possibility of more rainfall that could result in flooding.

Kansans are urged to avoid flooded areas and not attempt to drive or wade through moving water. Even 18 inches of water is sufficient to float a car or knock a person off their feet and sweep them away.

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