Freezing rain creates treacherous conditions in the Midwest

Jan. 14, 2017: the Movement moves along an icing warning in the night on the I-70 west of Lawrence, Kansas.

(AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A third wave of wet snow and drizzle glazed parts of the central U.S. on Sunday, the enlargement of the icy weather that some meteorologists began to recognize fell short of dire predictions.

Much of the region remained under an ice storm warning on the eve of the Martin Luther King Jr. vacation stretches continued to get pelted by rain, often in areas where the temperature hovered around the freezing point.

The freeze made the roads harrowing. In Kansas, near Kansas City, two troopers escaped injury when their vehicles were struck while working a crash in a northerly direction along Interstate 635. And in the center of Nebraska, authorities believe icy conditions may have contributed to a deadly crash involving two tractor-trailers shortly before 9 a.m. Sunday on Interstate 80, causing a three-hour closure of 15 miles of Interstate 80. There were no injuries.

The authorities say that ice contributed to a southwestern Kansas wreck Saturday night death of a 35-year-old Oklahoma man injured and a number of others. The Kansas Highway Patrol said They Torres-Ocacio of Guymon, Oklahoma, died after the sport utility vehicle in which he was riding went out of control on an overpass and destroyed several times.

Some people lost power in the midst of the storm. Nearly 10,000 electrical customers were without power in Oklahoma, with most of that in the northwestern part of the state.

South of Kansas City, the last round of storms dumped three-quarters of an inch of precipitation during the night, resulting in about a quarter of an inch of ice.

Jared Leighton, a National Weather Service meteorologist in the near of Kansas City, Missouri, said Sunday that while the width of the ice accumulations remained behind expectations, “that must not distract from the impact of the storm.”

“The amounts are never really in the story; the consequences were,” Leighton told The Associated Press. “The roads are still a mess, and the Highway Patrol is the have of their vehicles.”

Becky Allmeroth, a state maintenance engineer for the Missouri Department of Transportation, said ice is “the most difficult storm to fight.”

“We keep up with the changing conditions, but it is a continual battle,” she said of the department around-the-clock scramble to the treatment of the glass roads. “The precipitation comes in waves, and we have to apply more salt.”

Many residents had prepared for the storms by stocking up on bread, milk and other necessities, and buying flashlights and generators to have on hand in case the power gets knocked out.

The storm prompted the NFL to move the AFC divisional playoff game in Kansas City between the Chiefs and the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday evening to have more time for the treatment of roads and parking lots at Arrowhead Stadium. The game was scheduled to kick off at noon, but now will start at 7:20 pm

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