Manhattan, Junction City, Fort Riley Brace For Major Winter Event

By: Lindsey Rogers Email
By: Lindsey Rogers Email

MANHATTAN, Kan. (WIBW) -- Preparations have been in full swing in Manhattan and Junction City as well as at Fort Riley as crews gear up for the major snowfall.

The WIBW Weather Team is predicting about a foot of snow for that area. Some spots might see up to 15-18 inches.

"We have all of our sanders and plows loaded on all of our available trucks. We will go to split crews. One crew will go home at noon and come back at 8 PM and work through the night. And then we will split our shifts from 8-8 throughout the duration of the storm. So we have all of our equipment ready and our crews in place tonight," said Jeff Walters, Manhattan street supervisor during an interview Wednesday.

Crews on Fort Riley will also be working overtime to tackle the storm. The installation has set up different resources for soldiers and their families.

"We’ve established a Family Assistance Center at Riley’s Conference Center just in case we have a mass power outage and families need someplace to go and get warm, we can take care of them there. We’ve also established an emergency shelter at King Field House. It will have cots and warmth and coffee," said Steve Crusinberry with Fort Riley Operations.

Law enforcement officials across the area are urging citizens to use extreme caution during the major winter event.

Geary County Sheriff Tony Wolf said: "If you don’t have to travel, don’t. There’s no real reason that people should put themselves in danger by being out traveling. Make some plans. Get ahead of the game. Go out this evening and go to the grocery store, get a few extra things that you’re going to need for the next day or so and be prepared that way."

Wolf, along with Junction City Police Chief Tim Brown, advised that their agencies could go initiate emergency reporting procedures Thursday. Once in that mode, the agencies will not respond to non-injury accidents under $1,000.Drivers should move to a place of safety and then exchange insurance information and report the accident to their insurance company as soon as possible.

All injury accidents and accidents that block the street due to disabled vehicles should be reported to the police. As soon as caseload permits, the police department and sheriff's office will go back to normal report taking.

Kansas State University campuses in Manhattan, Olathe and Salina will be closed Thursday, Feb. 21.

USD 383 Manhattan/Ogden and USD 475 Geary County/Fort Riley have canceled school Thursday.

Riley County District Court and county offices will be closed as well Manhattan City Hall and City of Manhattan facilities. ATA Bus Service in Manhattan will not be running the Green and Orange fixed route and University Crossing on Thursday.

Fort Riley will operate on a "mission essential only" status on Thursday, February 21, and a two-hour delay on Friday, February 22.

Essential employees are those whose duties are related to the safeguarding of life and property, to include essential health care workers.

Beginning at 7 p.m., February 20th, until 5 a.m. on February 22, the only gates open will be Ogden, Henry, Trooper and Four Corners.

Additional Fort Riley Information (21FEB)
- Mission essential personnel only.
- Expect limited services
- From 7 p.m. 21Feb to 5 a.m. 22Feb Estes Gate, Rifle Range Gate, Grant Gate and 12th Street will be closed.
- All fitness centers will be closed.
- Child Development Centers will be open normal hours for mission essential personnel only.
- Forsyth East and Warren East Child Development Centers will be closed.
- In preparation for severe weather Feb. 20-22, Fort Riley leaders have identified Riley’s Conference Center as the site of a potential Family Assistance Center, or FAC. A FAC is a one-stop shop for Soldiers and Families to access information about on- and off-post resources like shelter, injury and casually information, legal support or other basic Army Community Service functions.
- The FAC will only be activated if a prolonged power outage or other extreme emergency occurs at Fort Riley.
- Under the same circumstances, an emergency shelter would be established. On-post residents could get information about housing in an emergency shelter via the FAC.
- King Field House, Building 202 on Main Post, has been identified as the potential emergency shelter at Fort Riley. Long Fitness Center, Building 8069 on Custer Hill, would be an overflow shelter, if necessary.
- As of Feb. 20, these sites have only been identified as locations. They have NOT been activated.

Irwin Army Community Hospital (21FEB)
- All primary care and routine specialty care appointments and clinics will be closed Feb 21. All scheduled appointments for Feb 21 are being rescheduled.
- Core emergency services including: EMS, ER, emergency/urgent OR, limited ancillary support services (i.e. Pharmacy, Radiology, Lab), Labor and Delivery, and necessary support services will remain open tomorrow.
- Friday is currently scheduled for a 0900 outpatient appointment time.

Picerne Military Housing
- Will be open regular hours

AAFES
- The MTC, Hospital and airfield shoppettes will be closed all other AAFES facilities normal hours

Commissary
- No early bird shopping 21FEB.
- Commissary will be open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.


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