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Weather Updates TEG EMPORIAGAZETTE.COM WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2014 WWW.EMPORIAGAZETTE.COM V V V PULITZER PRIZE-WINNING FAMILY OWNED SINCE 1895 V V V VVV Check LIKE SNOW? MORE ON THE WAY AREA SHOWS SNOW STORM PREPAREDNESS ACCIDENTS LIMITED The Emporia Gazette By Jason Johnston The Emporia and the Lyon County officials respond to the snow storm that blanketed the area Tuesday.  “My advice would be to stay in and stay safe and let the city crews and the emergency services have access to the roads for the work that they need to do,” said Emporia Mayor Rob Gilligan. About two graders and two or three plows from Public Works and some private sector road crews were out and about, said Interim City Manager Mark McAnarney “ We have different shifts,”  McAnarney said.  “So, we will be continuous, trying to keep ahead of the snow.” Lyon County Road and Bridge ran its graders until 8 p.m. Tuesday on county roads, and started again this morning, said County Engineer Chip Woods. The sander trucks and plows continuously cleared the asphalt roads and other roads as needed. “We will work with the ambulance service to make sure they get their ambulances to the places out in the county,” Woods said. The Emporia Fire Department increased its manpower by adding one firefighter to each station per shift, said Capt. Ryan Schmidt. A four-wheel drive pickup will assist each ambulance on emergency calls. “We’re just trying to stay ahead of the game, basically, and be prepared,” Schmidt said. Rick Frevert, the Lyon County Emergency Management director, said he supported the area agencies, tracked the storm, made reports to the Department of Emergency Management in Topeka and relayed messages to media sources.  “We will start monitoring our hotels for room availability,” Frevert said. “We have tentative plans, and if we need a warming shelter, that we have one that we can open quickly. If we have to have other types of shelters, we will open them (in a timely manner).” Please see Snow Storm, Page 2 Top to bottom: An ESU student walks across campus on Tuesday as a snow storm hit Emporia. The storm didn’t stop people from getting out and enjoying the snow, including residents who decided to go sledding with their dog. The heavy snow fall caused traffic issues on local roads, including stuck vehicles on Merchant Street that had to be assisted by Emporia Police and ESU campus officers. Late in the afternoon, Gov. Sam Brownback said at a press conference that he has signed a state of disaster proclamation for the state of Kansas. Photos by Dustin Michelson. Most of the calls emergency dispatchers received during the snow storm were for motorists requiring assistance and not from accidents Tuesday when a winter storm dropped five to seven inches over the area. Lyon County Undersheriff John Koelsch said, for the most part, people remained safe. Sheriff deputies reported to Koelsch Tuesday afternoon that visibility on Interstate 35 had been reduced to 50 or 100 feet. “Don’t drive,” he said, but if you do have to: “ … make sure you have plenty of time and make sure that wherever your destination is, somebody knows that when you are supposed to arrive.” Koeslch said the department didn’t increase staffing for the storm, but instead reallocated deputies from other duties. “On the reverse side of that, we don’t want to drive around aimlessly, being a part of the problem instead of part of the solution,” he said. “We’re trying to spread out so we have people available to respond anywhere in the county because it is such a large county.” Koelsch said the Sheriff’s Office would continue the same operation through the evening hours and into Wednesday morning. “Be safe,” said John Woynick, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Topeka. “Exercise caution today if you have to get out. If you don’t, then stay home and stay safe.  GOV. PLOWS HIGHWAY The Associated Press FORECAST Gov. Sam Brownback is getting a firsthand look at the state’s efforts to clear highways amid the winter storm that has closed schools and state government offices. Brownback hopped aboard a Kansas Department of Transportation snowplow Tuesday afternoon to observe snow removal on Interstate 70 west of Topeka. Forecasters were predicting up to a foot of snow in northeast Kansas. Brownback said his decision on whether to reopen state offices Wednesday will rest partly on whether winds are causing VOL. 122, NO. 184 Please see Brownback, Page 2

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