Worst of ice storms skip over area

Osage County was spared the worst of a forecasted ice storm with the potential to drop as much as an inch of freezing rain in parts of Kansas. The storm passed through Jan. 13 to 16, but left only a glazing in some parts of the area.

“The conditions were in place for a prolonged period of freezing rain over the area, with a shallow arctic air mass over the state, and warm moist are above it,” said a report from the National Weather Service in Topeka. “There were a couple reasons for lower amounts of ice than were forecast.”

The storm instead moved more slowly than expected into the area.

“The freezing rain didn’t really begin to impact northeast Kansas until the overnight periods on Jan. 14,” the report said. “The delay in the onset of the freezing rain allowed the arctic air mass over the region to weaken, so temperatures were not as cold at the surface as they could have been. So when the freezing rain finally arrived, the ice was not that efficient in accumulating on exposed surfaces.”

According to county officials, there were periods of slick roadways.

“Friday night in Burlingame, the brick streets were bad,” said Laurie Dunn, sheriff. “They’re always bad when there’s weather, but the city streets were a sheet of ice as well.”

Larger ice amounts were recorded in areas as close at Garnett, where accumulating ice damaged several limbs, with additional freezing rain reported in Emporia. Larger power outages were recorded in Dodge City, in southwest Kansas.

“Parts of southeast Kansas did see freezing rain on Jan. 13,” NWS reported. “There were a couple pockets of ice accumulation up to a half inch. Portions of southwest Kansas had over an inch of ice accumulate on trees and power lines.”

Glen Tyson, county public works supervisor, said the county is maintaining a stockpile of salt and sand to prepare for any future storms.

“I’ve got some more on order, to restock everything back up,” Tyson said. “As far as the mixed stuff, we’re already filled back up and ready for that.”

Tyson said he didn’t anticipate any winter weather events over the next seven to 10 days.

The Osage County Herald-Chronicle

The official newspaper of Osage County; the cities of Burlingame, Carbondale, Lyndon, Melvern, Olivet, Osage City, Overbrook, Quenemo and Scranton; Burlingame USD 454, Lyndon USD 421, Marais des Cygnes Valley USD 456, Osage City USD 420 and Santa Fe Trail USD 434.

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