A second winter storm is moving into the Kansas City area bringing with it the potential for freezing rain, sleet, ice and 6-12 inches of snow.
The National Weather Service issued a blizzard watch from Sunday evening through late Monday for much of western Kansas ahead of the strong storm system packing high winds and sleet that has been tracking across western Texas toward Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri. The area was hit by a massive storm last week that dumped a foot of snow in some sections, closed airports and caused numerous accidents.
"It would have been nice if we'd had a few days to recover, to do some equipment rehab," said Joe Pajor, deputy director of public works in Wichita, which saw its second-highest snowfall ever Thursday with 14.2 inches.
The new storm system follows a winter blast that moved through the area Thursday that dumped nearly a foot of snow in some sections, closed airports and caused numerous accidents
Totals from the Thursday snowstorm included 18 inches in the southern Kansas town of Zenda; 17 inches in Hays, KS; about 13 inches in northeast Missouri and 12 inches of snow in parts of Kansas City.
Pajor told The Wichita Eagle the new storm "looks worse than the last one" and that sand and salt supplies are low because of last week's record storm, as are the number of locations where snow can be transported off city streets. He said the plowing strategy for the new blizzard may have to involve plowing snow into the center of arterial streets, and cutting traffic to one lane each direction.
State officials urge people to prepare now for the new storm by restocking home and vehicle emergency kits with food, water, medicine, flashlights, blankets and other essentials.
"Keep an eye on this storm system which has the potential to be more difficult than the last one because of strong winds, ice, and heavy snow accumulation," Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback said. "Be ready to change your travel plans if needed. Staying off the roads not only keeps you safe, but it also helps road crews do their jobs and allows emergency responders to get to their destination safer. But if you must travel take essentials with you to stay safe and inform others of where you are going and when you expect to arrive."
The State Emergency Operations Center will be activated Sunday and will work with county emergency managers and other agencies to determine what resources are needed as the storm moves across Kansas.
"With the prediction of strong winds of 30 to 40 mph and gusting up to 50 to 60 mph, this storm has the potential to cause power outages and white out conditions," said Maj. Gen. Lee Tafanelli, adjutant general and director of Kansas Division of Emergency Management. "Take the preparations you need for yourself and your family to be safe if you are without power for a few days."
Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.