First Fatality Accident Of Snow Storm In Sherman County

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- Kansas Highway Patrol announced that an accident on I-70 in Sherman County this morning resulted in a fatality, the first for this snow storm.

Troopers say the one vehicle crash emphasizes why drivers need to be cautious and aware when taking to the road in the snow.

"the individual who lost his life this morning was not wearing a seatbelt. The passenger was wearing a seatbelt, and survived," said Col. Ernest Garcia of the KHP. "I want to underscore a certain aspect of it and that is the wearing of safety belts."

Emergency management officials urge people to stay off the roads if possible to avoid bad driving conditions. The Adjutant General says the National Guard is on standby in case they are needed to patrol highways. KDOT has about 570 plows working 24-hours throughout the storm to clear roads as quickly as possible.

"Like the last storm, this is one that blankets the entire state so we're out in full force," said Jerry Younger, KDOT deputy secretary. "Look out for our guys as they're out there on the road. They're trying to improve things so give them plenty of space to do that."

Governor Sam Brownback warns recovery efforts for this storm will likely be more challenging than last week.

"This one has the potential in some areas of the state to be much more severe than even the last one, and we don't have the margins we did last time," said Brownback. "The ditches are full of snow, so you can't throw it off as quick or as easy."

Officials say this storm also has the potential to cause widespread power outages across the state. County officials do have access to generators and will work with state agencies to decide whether to use them.