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Examiner
  • Storm cleanup continues

  • It is now more than 48 hours after a major winter storm dropped almost a foot of snow in some locations in the Eastern Jackson County area. For school districts and municipalities, the clean-up continues.

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  • It is now more than 48 hours after a major winter storm dropped almost a foot of snow in some locations in the Eastern Jackson County area. For school districts and municipalities, the clean-up continues.
    “It depends on how much snow we have,” Fort Osage School District Superintendent Mark Enderle said on how long it will take to clean the district’s sidewalks and parking lots. “For this storm, it will take six plow trucks and 30 custodians about 12 to 13 hours to clear all of our lots and walks.”
    Thursday’s winter storm, dubbed the latest “snowpocalypse” or “snowmaggeddon” by many, dumped as much as 13 inches in some portions of Eastern Jackson County. It is the fifth highest February snowfall on record and the most since 1993. According to the National Weather Service, Independence received 9.5 inches, Blue Springs received 10.5 inches and Lone Jack was hit with a whopping 12 inches of snow. At Kansas City International Airport, the storm unloaded 9.2 inches in the matter of hours. Schools were canceled Thursday and Friday, KCI shut down for most of the storm’s duration and cities and businesses throughout the area closed in order to protect employees and customers.
    By Thursday evening, the snow tapered off and the real clean-up began.
    “Our crews are pretty much on duty until the streets are cleaned,” said Kim Nakahodo, public information director for the city of Blue Springs. “They will be working 12-hour shifts until the roads are cleared.”
    Most streets in the Independence and Blue Springs area had received at least one pass from the snow plows by Friday, but were still snow-packed. The main, arterial roads, which were the focus of snow plow crews early on, were almost completely cleared of snow. They had been treated and remained only wet.
    Nakahodo said Blue Springs made the decision to contract with private plowing services to help clean the city’s 591 cul-de-sacs. She said normally, city crews will do these themselves, but with more snow expected Sunday night, according to the National Weather Service, she said it was important to get those areas cleared quickly. There are not estimates yet as to how much snow will fall during that forecasted storm.
    “More snow is predicted in a couple of days, so we wanted to make sure the cul-de-sacs were cleared before it gets here,” Nakahodo said. “It is just the timing of the other storm coming in.”
    Grain Valley School District Superintendent Roy Moss said the two days missed because of the snow storm will be made up at the end of the year, which is the case in most school districts. He said one of the most important factors that goes into the decision to cancel school is safety.
    “The weather forecast, road conditions and being able to operate our buses safely is what goes into make the decision to cancel school. Also, the schools’ operations departments' ability to remove snow at our facilities for safe entry and exit,” he said. “We anticipate 70-plus degree weather when the snow days are made up. Much safer for students, parents and staff than the last couple of days.”
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