DODGE CITY, Kan. (AP) — A second major winter storm was bearing down on the central Plains, forcing cancellations and sending public works crews scrambling for salt and sand supplies less than a week after another system dumped more than a foot of snow on parts of the region.
National Weather Service officials in Kansas issued blizzard warnings and watches through late Monday ahead of the strong storm system that's packing snow and high winds. The storm has been tracking across western Texas toward Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri.
"We're expecting more wind with this storm," said Jeff Johnson, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Dodge City, Kan. "Snow amounts are varying, but we could see upward of a foot across south-central Kansas with lesser amounts across west-central and central Kansas."
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback amended the state of emergency declaration he signed last week to include the new storm.
"This storm has the potential to be more dangerous than last week's storm," said Brownback, who held a briefing Sunday night along with emergency officials in his state to warn residents about the weather.
He urged motorists to "stay off the road unless it's absolutely critical" but said drivers who must travel should pack their charged cellphones and emergency kits containing food, water, blankets, road flares and shovels.
The region was hit by a massive storm last week that dumped a foot of snow in some sections, closed airports and caused numerous accidents.
"It would have been nice if we'd had a few days to recover, to do some equipment rehab," Joe Pajor, deputy director of public works in Wichita, Kan., told The Wichita Eagle. The city saw its second-highest snowfall ever Thursday with 14.2 inches.
Other totals from the Thursday snowstorm included 18 inches in the southern Kansas town of Zenda, 17 inches in Hays, Kan., about 13 inches in northeast Missouri and 12 inches of snow in parts of Kansas City.
Steve Corfidi, meteorologist with the National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla., said the storm also will affect southern states and could spawn tornadoes Tuesday in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, the Florida Panhandle and Georgia.