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The Latest: I70 reopened in western Kansas as storm hits

December 27, 2018

HAYS, Kan. (AP) — The Latest on a winter storm in Kansas (all times local):

5 p.m.

Officials have reopened a stretch of Interstate 70 in western Kansas.

The Kansas Department of Transportation says the major east-west route from Goodland to Wakeeney is now open in both directions. The agency closed the route because of poor visibility and wrecks as a winter storm hits.

Portions of the highway are still partially or completely covered in snow.

The National Weather Service has issued a combination of blizzard warnings, winter storm warnings and winter weather advisories in about three dozen counties. Forecasts are calling for ice and up to 2 to 12 inches (about 5 to 30 centimeters) of snow. Wind gusts of up to 50 mph also are possible, creating whiteout conditions.

Gov. Jeff Colyer declared a state of disaster Wednesday in anticipation of the storm.

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11:10 a.m.

Officials have shut down a stretch of Interstate 70 in western Kansas as a winter storm batters the area.

The Kansas Department of Transportation says it closed the major east-west route Thursday from Goodland to Wakeeney because of poor visibility and wrecks. Several other highways are either closed or snow covered in the western part of the state.

The National Weather Service has issued a combination of blizzard warnings, winter storm warnings and winter weather advisories in about three dozen counties. Forecasts are calling for ice and up to 2 to 12 inches (about 5 to 30 centimeters) of snow. Wind gusts of up to 50 mph also are possible, creating whiteout conditions.

Gov. Jeff Colyer declared a state of disaster Wednesday in anticipation of the storm.

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6:55 a.m.

A winter storm is closing roads and knocking out power across parts of central and western Kansas.

The National Weather Service has issued a combination of blizzard warnings, winter storm warnings and winter weather advisories in about three dozen counties. Forecasts are calling for ice and up to 2 to 12 inches (about 5 to 30 centimeters) of snow. Wind gusts of up to 50 mph also are possible, creating whiteout conditions.

The Kansas Department of Transportation says Interstate 70 is completely snow covered west of Hays. And several highways are closed, including stretches of U.S. 50, in the southwest corner of the state.

About 2,500 Wheatland Electric Cooperative customers are without power in Finney, Gray, Hamilton, Harper, Kearny and Scott counties.

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