Snow blankets area on New Year's Eve

12/31/2012

By ANGIE HAFLICH

By ANGIE HAFLICH

ahaflich@gctelegram.com

Heavy snowfall in Garden City and surrounding areas on Monday brought much needed moisture to the area, exceeding expectations in terms of snowfall totals.

The icy conditions that came as a result of the winter storm also resulted in at least one accident Monday morning.

According to Ray Burgert of the Dodge City National Weather Service, Garden City received about 7 inches of snow as of Monday afternoon. "For Finney County itself, we have that the emergency manager called in at 12:46 with 7 inches. Nine miles southeast of Friend, they had 7 inches. Seven miles west-southwest of Dighton had 7.5 inches. Lakin had 7 inches, and Grant County had 7 inches.

Stanton County recorded 9 inches of snow, and an area nine miles north of Garden City, 8.5 inches was reported.

"I'd say, generally speaking, 6 to 8 (inches), but some areas had a little higher than that, and then there's, of course, the minor drifting," Burgert said, adding that northerly winds were about 15 to 25 mph.

The snow began falling between 3 and 4 a.m. in Garden City, and then at about 6 a.m., heavier snow blanketed the area and continued most of the day, until about 4:30 p.m.

Burgert said there was a slight chance for flurries Tuesday morning.

The expected snow totals from the system were 4 to 5 inches, but Burgert said that when there are narrow bands of heavier precipitation, it's difficult to forecast totals.

The forecast for the next few days is expected to be dry with warmer temperatures.

"Temperatures for the next couple of days will be on the cold side, and then start to warm up. It looks like by Friday, we'll start seeing some 30s, possibly some 40s developing, as the snow melts over the weekend period," he said.

The icy road conditions contributed to at least one accident Monday morning in Finney County.

At about 9 a.m., four people received minor injuries after a three-vehicle accident on U.S. Highway 83, two miles north of the U.S. Highway 50 junction.

According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, Terrell D. Dirks, 38, Scott City, was stopped in a 2011 Toyota Rav4 on U.S. 83, waiting to turn east onto Low Road. Greg A. Schilling, 44, Garden City, who was driving a 2000 Ford F250 Pickup, was stopped behind Dirks' vehicle. Armando Rovera-Romero, 36, Liberal, was driving a 1993 Peterbilt truck, which he attempted to stop, but the icy conditions caused him to slide into Schilling's vehicle, causing it to strike Dirks' vehicle.

Dirks' vehicle came to rest on Low Road, just east of U.S. 83. Schilling's and Rovera-Romero's vehicles continued southbound and then Schilling's vehicle came to rest on the west side of the road in a field. Rovera-Romero's vehicle came to rest in the ditch on the west side.

According to the KHP, both Dirks and Schilling suffered minor injuries but were not transported to hospitals. Two passengers in Dirks' vehicle, Julie A. Dirks, 34, Scott City, and Meika Christina Dirks, Scott City, were taken to St. Catherine Hospital and released a short time later.

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