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Another round of ice likely in Wichita area

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Friday, Jan. 31, 2014, at 11:45 a.m.
  • Updated Thursday, March 13, 2014, at 10:05 a.m.

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Fans traveling to basketball games in the Wichita area shouldn’t have any trouble getting there, forecasters say.

Getting home, however, may be a slippery proposition.

Another round of freezing drizzle is expected to move through the metropolitan area late Friday night, potentially glazing streets and freeways, said Vanessa Pearce, a meteorologist with the Wichita branch of the National Weather Service.

Getting home “could be a problem” due to slick surfaces, Pearce said.

The Andover-Salina Central and Caldwell-Sedan boys and girls basketball games have already been postponed due to the weather.

The freezing drizzle will become steadier by mid-evening and continue through the overnight hours, said Andy Crouch, a meteorologist at AccuWeather’s branch in Wichita.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory until 9 a.m. Saturday for more than 30 counties covering primarily the eastern half of Kansas. Areas near and north of I-70 could see up to 3 more inches of snow, while freezing drizzle is the primary threat in the Wichita area and other more southern sectors of the advisory area.

A light glaze of freezing drizzle triggered numerous accidents on elevated roadways in Wichita on Friday morning, authorities said.

Most of the accidents occurred on I-235 near the exit for K-42 in southwest Wichita, according to the Kansas Highway Patrol.

“When it hit, it was pretty bad for a little bit,” Trooper Gary Warner said.

Eight accidents were reported on I-235 in a little more than 10 minutes, he said. They included three rollover crashes.

Remarkably, he said, no one was hurt in the crashes.

Warner credited a rapid response by Kansas Department of Transportation crews for minimizing the number of accidents caused by the glazed roads.

Few accidents were reported on Wichita streets after the freezing drizzle began falling shortly before 9 a.m., a Sedgwick County dispatch supervisor said.

KDOT’s night-shift crews were sent home at noon Friday in anticipation of more winter weather moving into the Wichita metropolitan area later in the evening, spokesman Tom Hein said.

“It could be a long evening and night for KDOT crews,” he said.

Reach Stan Finger at 316-268-6437 or sfinger@wichitaeagle.com. Follow him on Twitter: @StanFinger.

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