A winter storm moving through the Midwest brought record snowfall to Derby and the Wichita area, resulting in a slew of cancellations and days spent reversing the effects of winter last week.
Wichita saw a record amount of snowfall for Feb. 2, according to the local
National Weather Service Office, accumulating 6 inches that day and over a two-day period. Although similar records are not kept for Derby, the city has seen a similar total buildup which NWS staff have also projected as records for this time of year.
In the wake of the winter weather, several local businesses closed or changed their hours due to snowfall and the impact on travel conditions. Derby Public Schools was not in session for three consecutive days (February 2-4) following the storm. Meanwhile, buildings in the city, DRC and many more have been closed for at least a day – with hours adjusted to reopen due to the vagaries of weather-related travel.
Derby Public Works crews were all over the streets, working to maintain safe travel conditions by clearing snow, ice, salting and sanding emergency/arterial traffic lanes (first priority) and collector roads off major traffic corridors such as Rock Road, K-15/Baltimore Avenue, etc.
Derby Police and Fire Services noted there was not necessarily an increase in traffic calls due to weather conditions. Deputy Chief of Police Brandon Russell reported the Derby PD only responded to around four traffic accidents in the depths of winter, although officers helped with a number of stuck vehicles in the snow.
Fire Chief John Turner also reported that his department was not extremely busy, but was involved in a weather-related crash Feb. 2 on the Kansas Turnpike near Mulvane, where a pickup truck collided with a semi-trailer.
As city crews busied themselves treating public roads, a number of local businesses also turned into snow removal services and helped clear private driveways and parking lots. TenderCare Lawn and Landscape was one of them, with owner Kevin Payne noting he had teams for over 30 hours to help with these services – going to 150 homes in Derby alone, as well as banks and medical facilities.
“A lot of people don’t understand what it takes to get this done and the work involved,” Payne said.