Winter storm creates hazardous road conditions

Updated: Feb 14

The winter storm that blew in Tuesday night, first with freezing rain and then snow, caused havoc on the major thoroughfares in Linn County on Wednesday morning.

“It was like a rodeo yesterday,” Linn County Sheriff Kevin Friend said on Thursday.

He said his offices worked 11 crashes on the eastern side of the county, including U.S. Highway 69, on Wednesday. He said that was a result of drivers trying to go too fast on the snow-packed roads.

Most of the slide-offs took some time to clear because tow services were running behind. It took at least an hour before we could get a wrecker at each accident, he said.

By 5 p.m. or so, most of the snow on U.S. 69 had been cleaned off, and it was in good shape, he said. However, blowing snow became a problem on Thursday with a partial snowpack on the highway in places.

“What’s blowing over it is getting packed down,” he explained.

He said that there was also some snowpack remaining on the state highways like Kansas Highway 7 and K-52, but added that the road crews had done a good job of clearing the snow.

Even the paved county roads like 1095 Road were cleared.

“Our county road crews have really done a good job,” he said. He added that the roads had received particularly good treatment on the curves and bridges – which helps eliminate the likelihood of slide-offs.

He said there were almost no incidents on the west side of the county, likely because drivers drivers did a better job of taking their time.

While lows tonight are expected to once again be in the single digits, the National Weather Service predicts sunny weather on Friday with a high near 32 degrees Fahrenheit, and highs over the weekend are expected to be in upper 30s.

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