Archive for Thursday, January 6, 2005

Eudora copes with season’s first ice storm

January 6, 2005

Slippery road conditions and cold temperatures kept many Eudorans inside and off the roads this week as the first ice storm of the season passed through Eudora Tuesday.

The freezing rain that began late Tuesday afternoon was followed by snow Wednesday morning, making driving hazardous throughout the area.

Students got their first snow day of the year Wednesday as Eudora USD 491 closed schools because of the winter conditions.

At press time, the Eudora Police Department had taken only one accident report since the storms began. The single-vehicle accident occurred around 8 p.m. Tuesday when a male driver struck the concrete barrier on Kansas Highway 10 near the Wakarusa Bridge. The driver was not injured and was able to drive into Eudora to file an accident report, according to a spokesperson from the Police Department. Damage to the vehicle was more than $500.

The Kansas Highway Patrol urged motorists not to drive if they could help it, but in many cases, travel couldn't be avoided.

Paula Wimmer, an employee of C&S Market in Eudora said the grocery store tends to see heavier traffic than usual when storms loom.

"Business really picks up when bad weather hits," she said.

She said when the weather gets ugly most customers stock up on necessities such as bread, milk and bottled water.

Down the street at Durkin's Hardware melting salt, batteries and flashlights were all popular items, and owner John Durkin said he sold out of kerosene. He said many customers were requesting heaters for their homes that had lost power.

Christian and Jacob Turnbaugh spent their day off from school watching movies at Cardinal Cleaners with their mother, Shari Turnbaugh, who owns the store.

Turnbaugh said her home south of town in Hesper Heights had been without power since 1 a.m. Wednesday. She said the whole neighborhood was affected and phone calls made to their power company indicated a 12- to 24-hour blackout. The Turnbaughs, who were without power for four days after an ice storm in 2002, opted to reserve a hotel room this time around.

Inside the city limits power outages were rare and isolated during and after the storms. City Superintendent Jim Boyer said outages were affecting only one house at a time and were usually caused by trees, heavy with ice, falling on overhead power lines.

Boyer said street crews had been out since 4 a.m. Wednesday treating the streets with salt and sand. He said the crews would continue to monitor city streets in an effort to keep them as safe as possible.

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