Businesses, schools, governments ground to halt ahead of storm - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Businesses, schools, governments ground to halt as storm hits


The second major winter storm arrived early Tuesday, and already some power outages are reported.

Almost 2,000 Kansas City Power and Light customers were without power in the Blue Springs area for a time, but power was quickly restored. Scattered outages were also reported throughout the area.

With the second major winter storm hitting Kansas City early Tuesday, many businesses, governments, schools and even retail centers shuttered their doors. Customers rushed area stores for shovels and loaves of bread, especially hot commodities.

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Highway crews warn that conditions will be so bad that it is dangerous to drive on area roads.

"This is kind of like the Super Bowl for us," said Stephen Porter, spokesman for the Missouri Department of Transportation. "This is what we live for. ... We've got a lot of people and a lot of equipment coming in to help. We know this is going to be ground zero. We're going to be right in the bull's eye of this story, and we'll be ready for it."

The American Red Cross is preparing to open shelters if needed due to extended power outages or travelers becoming stranded.

Kansas City International Airport, which was forced to close last Thursday afternoon because of the massive snow storm, said travelers should be prepared for flight cancellations on Tuesday. Many flights scheduled for Monday night and Tuesday morning already have been canceled. You can check on flights at KCI by going to

The Area Transportation Authority, which had to shut down service at 1 p.m. on Thursday after numerous wrecks on snow-packed roads, said it had delayed bus service and MAX service until at least 7 a.m. Several routes will not operate, especially those from the suburbs.

"Safety is our first priority," said Mark Huffer, general manager for KCATA. "With the worst part of the snow accumulation expected to occur in the overnight hours, delaying service is the responsible action at this point in time."

The University of Missouri has canceled all classes, exams and events. Only "situationally critical" employees should show up. The University of Kansas and the University of Missouri at Kansas City, along with other higher education institutions, canceled classes.

The Kansas City, KS, School District has announced classes are canceled for Tuesday. They were the first of many large area districts to cancel classes.

Click here for an updated school closing list.

Crews with the Kansas and Missouri departments of transportation have worked feverishly to clear shoulders and intersections of snow from last week's monster storm.

MODOT officials said this was done to allow for snow from "the next massive assault."

This snowstorm is expected to be worse because of the wind-driven snow conditions. Motorists are urged to avoid travel.

"The high rate of snowfall coupled with 30 mph winds can create drifts that will seriously challenge even four-wheel drive vehicles. The greatest opportunity for plow clears to clear the highways throughout this storm is if no other vehicles are on the highways in our path," according to the news release from MODOT. "MODOT urges motorists to postpone travel until the storm has passed unless it is a dire emergency."

Authorities throughout the Kansas City area say they will not respond to non-emergency crashes. Motorists are urged to walk in any crash reports.

Vehicles will not be towed during the height of the storm by MODOT. Once the storm passes, abandoned vehicles will be towed as quickly as tow operators can respond.

Road crews have been working 12-hour shifts to clear roads and treat roads in advance of the second round as well as making any necessary equipment repairs.

"We're not fresh as daisies," Porter said. "But we're rested and we're ready."

Legends Outlet Kansas City announced it would be closed Tuesday.

"This closing includes all retail stores, restaurants and the Legends Outlets Kansas City customer service and management offices," according to a statement from the shopping district. "Legends Outlets' top priority is always the safety of all the customers and employees."

Bread, eggs, chips, soft drinks, cheese, bottled water and milk were dwindling commodities at area stores, with many seeing wiped out shelves over the weekend. Some stores received fresh shipments on Monday. The next shipments likely won't come until Wednesday.

"The store's usually busy, but not like this," manager Richard Sanchez said. "It's like a holiday every day ... It'll probably keep up until the snow starts coming."

Denise Burnett was stocking up on groceries in case her family is home-bound for a few days.

"I'm ready for summer. As much snow as we've had, I don't want to see it anymore," Burnett said. "I stocked up last week, and I'm stocking up this week."

Shovels were also a hot commodity.

Francis Wallace went to an area Strasser True Value to pick up supplies, including a shovel.

"I'm holding onto it like it's gold. We've been here an hour, and they're just going like crazy. The guys just barely cut the cardboard and people are just grabbing them," Wallace said. "I came looking for shovels, gloves, ice scrappers and snow melt. I found everything but the last one."

Leroy Andrews, the store's manager, said the past week has been one of the busiest he's experienced in 42 years.

"We've been getting shipments in throughout the day," he said. "We're going to keep trying until we run out or run out of daylight."

In addition to waiting an hour for shovels, snow blowers were hot commodities.

KCTV5's Amy Anderson, Alice Barr, Justin Schmidt, Bonyen Lee and Jonathan Carter contributed to this report.

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