Brownback Closes Offices Ahead Of Storm | Topeka Braces For Snow

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has ordered state offices in the Topeka area to remain closed Tuesday and the Legislature has canceled its meetings because of an impending winter storm.

Brownback said Monday that he's closing state offices in Shawnee County to keep roads as clear as possible of traffic once the storm hits. The National Weather Service is predicting up to 10 inches of snow and wind gusts of up to 35 miles per hour in some areas.

Brownback said during a news conference that many workers could get to their offices safely Tuesday morning but have trouble returning home later.

He said state agencies will have the discretion to close offices outside Shawnee County.

The governor's announcement prompted House and Senate leaders to cancel lawmakers' business.

Earlier in the day, the Topeka City Manager Jim Colson said the City has canceled its council meeting.

“We have a team of people continuing to track the weather,” Colson said. “Results of the storm and reports of road conditions may trigger an early dismissal of employees on Tuesday,” Colson said. If the City decides to cancel operations Tuesday, workers will be notified by 6 a.m.

The city is asking people to stay off the roads if possible and, if they have to go out, to make sure they have an emergency kit with a cell phone and charger, snacks, and a blanket.

They also are asking that all cars all moved off the street and into driveways to allow emergency vehicles to move freely.

They expect the Emergency Snow Route Ordinance will be activated, prohibiting parking on, or becoming stuck without snow tires on an emergency routes. Vehicles left on the road are subject to citation or towing.

If 10 inches of snow falls the city says it will need up to 16 hours to clear the downtown area.