Storm's over, but blowing snow still poses a hazard

A fierce winter storm that swarmed through the area on Christmas Eve has calmed down, but forecasters say to use caution as winds and loose snow continue to pose problems.

"It could reduce visibility, but it won't be as bad as it was," said Stephanie Dunten, meteorologist for the National Weather Service.

A low system spinning over the state is moving north, and with it the chance for more snow. But temperatures will remain well below freezing, Dunten said.

"Forecasting the temperatures has really been tricky with this," Dunten said Friday.

Highs are expected to reach only into the 20s.

Winds that roared at more than 50 mph on Christmas Eve and in the high 30s on Christmas Day had slowed to 19 mph by Friday night.

Wichita awoke to sunny skies and about 3 inches of snow Christmas morning, but slick roads and wind chills of minus 3 created hazardous conditions.

Emergency dispatchers said they continued receiving accident calls Friday but traffic was lighter because of the holiday.

One person was taken to the hospital because of a morning accident.

The crash occurred under the overpass at Kellogg and Tyler Road, police said, when a southbound car ran a stoplight and hit a snowplow traveling east.

Wichita police Sgt. Bill Stevens said a passenger was thrown from the car and taken to the hospital. The driver of the car suffered minor injuries. The driver of the snowplow was not hurt.

Reports of stranded motorists continued throughout the day in Wichita.

Wichita Mid-Continent Airport reported that most flights were running on schedule with at least three departures delayed up to 45 minutes.

Major highways such as I-35 were still snow- and ice-packed, according to the Kansas Department of Transportation.

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