TOPEKA, Kan. — The Kansas Department of Transportation says crews around the state are prepared for anything this week.
“There’s going to be 30 plus snow plows out,” KDOT Public Affairs Manager Delaney Tholen said Tuesday morning. “Crews are coming in this evening around 7 p.m. to get ready, and so as soon as the snow starts sticking, they’ll be plowing the roads.”
The problem for this snow storm is KDOT’s understaffed. Ideally, she said there would be about 55 snow plows out on the Kansas side of the Kansas City metro for a winter weather event like the one we’re expecting.
“There are snowplows that could be deployed if there were drivers,” Tholen said. “So we ask that anyone that’s interested even in a seasonal position or a permanent position regardless, please inquire, and your help and assistance would be appreciated by KDOT and your community.”
It’s not just a problem for KDOT in the Kansas City area. Sister station KSN reports for most counties in the Wichita area, the agency is 10-20% understaffed.
Despite shortages, KDOT said it’s prepared for the upcoming winter storm, but warns delays are likely.
There’s also a staffing shortage on the other side of the state line at the Missouri Department of Transportation.
A spokesman for the agency couldn’t confirm how many people he’s short going into the snowstorm. He said he’s more focused on the workers they do have as opposed to the ones they don’t.
When it comes to Kansas City workers, city leaders say they’ve cross-trained a lot of staff from other departments to help out with this storm. Maintenance workers, and even staff from KC’s water, parks and trash crews assist.
They had close to 300 people out pretreating streets Tuesday afternoon.
“First and foremost, we’ve got all our routes covered heading into this snowstorm tonight and this week,” KCMO spokeswoman Maggie Green said Tuesday.
“Drivers are assigned to routes across the city. We’re feeling very confident that these routes are covered. I think we could always use more backup drivers. I think we’re actively recruiting for more staff in all areas of the city, all departments, but going into this snowstorm coming up, we’ve got all of our routes covered, and we’re feeling pretty confident about that.”
- You can apply to KDOT here if interested.
- Find job openings at MoDOT here.
- Find more information on Kansas City jobs here.