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  • Writer's pictureJournal Staff Report

Sunday's freezing rain brings headaches for drivers, closes schools

Icy backroads slowly turned to mud after a progression of snow, arctic temperatures and freezing rain made them dangerous over the weekend. (Roger Sims/Linn County Journal)

Two of three Linn County school districts are expected to resume classes on Wednesday after icy roads cancelled classes on Monday and Tuesday, Jan. 22-23.

However, while Jayhawk and Prairie View students will return to class, Pleasanton students will be out at least another day following a water main break on school grounds, according to a post by Pleasanton Superintendent Don Epps on Tuesday evening.

A light rain Sunday evening on on top of pavement that had been in the deep freeze for more than a week created hazardous driving conditions and multiple slide-offs and accidents across Linn County through noon on Monday, Jan 22.

It didn’t take much rain to create black ice conditions for motorists on Sunday evening as temperatures hovered around the freezing mark and moisture that fell on paved or gravel roads that that had seen highs of 10 degrees or less for the previous three days.

Fortunately the rain was light enough to not cause issues with downed power lines.

The Kansas Department of Transportation reported that all major state highways were ice covered, however, as the winter weather advisory of the National Weather Service expired at noon on Monday when the temperatures climbed Into the upper 30s, KDOT’s report morphed into highways that were wet but treated for ice.

While there were individual reports of slide-offs Sunday night, including a report of one driver who stopped a car on a paved county road but couldn’t get it to move again on a slight incline, there was still a problem for commuters on Monday.

The Linn County Sheriff’s Office reported that between 6 a.m. and about noon on Monday there were nearly 20 calls for officers to assist incidents that ranged from accidents to slide-offs to abandoned vehicles.

The La Cygne Post Office said that the mail for residents in rural areas was not delivered to some rural routes on Monday because of icy conditions.

While paved roads maintained by the county and state were much improved by Tuesday morning, roads in the rural areas were not. Superintendents for all three districts called schools off again for Tuesday.

However, as temperatures reached into the upper 30s Tuesday afternoon, the back roads became less of an obstacle, and all three school districts were looking to reopen the doors on Wednesday.

Postal delivery by the La Cygne post office carriers resumed on Tuesday as well.

Even though temperatures were expected to remain with highs in the upper-40s and lows in the mid-30s over the next several days, a dense fog advisory was issued for Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.

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