Greg Bolon, assistant Kansas City public works director, said the city’s plow drivers had been working around the clock in 12-hour shifts since Wednesday and were bracing for several more days of extended schedules. City plows focused on arterial streets late Monday and early Tuesday.
Bolon asked local residents to be patient with plow drivers, even if they throw heavy snow back into already-shoveled driveways as they clear the streets. He said the long, often-thankless hours can take a toll on workers who are just doing what they’re told.
“We’re out there doing what we can to get streets open, and when people come out and shake their fists at you, it probably bothers you more mentally because you’re doing what you’re supposed to do,” Bolon said.
He said supervisors were keeping an eye on drivers for signs of fatigue, but he thought most were doing fine because of 12-hour intervals between shifts.
National Weather Service meteorologist Chris Bowman in Pleasant Hill, Mo., said the most intense snow in the Kansas City area was expected from midnight to 6 a.m. Tuesday. Southern parts of the city and counties to the south were expected to see 10 to 12 inches of snow, he said, while the northern part of the city was looking at 6 to 10 inches.
Other weather outlets predicted well more than a foot of snow over a narrow swath of counties in Missouri, which Bowman said was possible but probably on the high side.
“The potential is there,” he said. “We’re probably being a little more conservative because you’re getting into stuff that’s never occurred before with that kind of snowfall. There is still some debate about whether we have enough instability to lead to that kind of accumulation.”
Meteorologist Mike Umscheid of the National Weather Service office in Dodge City, Kan., said this latest storm combined with the storm last week will help alleviate the drought conditions that have plagued farmers and ranchers across the Midwest, and could be especially helpful to the winter wheat crop planted last fall.
But getting two back-to-back storms of this magnitude doesn’t mean the drought is finished.
“If we get one more storm like this with widespread 2 inches of moisture, we will continue to chip away at the drought, but to claim the drought is over or ending is way too premature,” Umscheid said.