The winter storm of historic proportions that hit earlier this month resulted in 10 inches of snow in Kansas City, and blanketed parts of central Missouri with over 20 inches. With wind gusts of 30 to 40 mph, the storm forced the closure of portions of Interstate 70.
One would expect a storm of this magnitude to cause a steep increase in motor vehicle accidents. This time, however, that wasn’t the case. A spokesman for Missouri AAA said in the Kansas City area they received only about half the number of calls they expected with such a severe storm, less than 200 calls from motorists stuck in the snow, and roughly 400 calls total.
A variety of factors likely contributed to the storm causing fewer car accidents than expected.
Kansas City snow plow drivers worked hard to clear snow from roads and highways. Roughly 30 of them spent the night sleeping on chairs and benches in their offices so they could begin plowing as early as possible in the morning. Their job was made easier by the fact that motorists obeyed warnings and very few were on the roads.
Kansas City Mayor Mark Funkhouser commended the performance of work crews and actions of residents. “We just went through what everybody said was a storm of historic proportions, and did a pretty good job by all accounts.”
When car accidents did occur, particularly in hard-hit southeast Kansas, the Highway Patrol was there to assist stranded motorists. National Guard members also worked to transport required medical staff to hospitals.
Hopefully another winter storm of this proportion won’t be hitting Kansas or Missouri for quite some time. At least if severe weather does happen again we know we are ready.
Source: Snow crews staying at work, residents staying off road helped minimize storm fallout