Morning commute could be messy in Wichita

Morning commute could be messy in Wichita

Wichita road crews spent Sunday making sure all plows are ready to hit the road when snow starts overnight.

A Wichita snow plow driver checks the tires of his rig before heading out Sunday evening.
Wichita snow plows lined up and ready to go when the snow starts overnight Sunday to Monday.
Wichita is using mostly sand and plows this storm. Crews say early expected rain would just wash salt brine pre-treatments away.


Road crews across the state have been keeping an eye on the Sunday night into Monday morning storm for a couple days now.

Here in Wichita, crews have been on standby all weekend. One thing you didn’t see is Wichita road crews out pre-treating the roads. They say this isn’t that sort of storm.

"The pre-treatment is just a salt brine. It’s saltwater. The water evaporates as we’re putting down the brine. The brine is left behind. If the rain comes, it washes that salt off. So it’s not on the pavement to help," said Joe Pajor, deputy director of Wichita’s Public Works department.

Instead, city crews spent Sunday watching for early trouble spots and making sure all the trucks were ready to go.

Late in the afternoon it was all hands on deck. Full crews of 50 people showed up to work non-stop shifts until the storm has passed. With the weather getting worse overnight they say it could be a tricky commute come Monday morning.

"People could very well end up with a mix of roads on Monday morning," Pajor said, referring to whether roads will be wet, icy or snow covered. "If you end up with most of the roads in good condition and you drive as though it’s dry pavement and then run into a trouble spot, that’s where people often get in trouble in these types of events."

He suggests drivers take it slow Monday morning, just in case, even if the roads look clear and dry. But, with a lot of schools and local governments shutdown for Veteran’s Day, there should be fewer people out there, too.

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