Winds damage hundreds of street signs across Kansas

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) – The Kansas Department of Transportation said hundreds of vehicles were damaged Wednesday as damaging winds ripped through the state. In some cases, the high winds caused the metal panels to detach from the posts, shearing them off and blowing them away.

KDOT said signs in each county were affected to some degree. Two of the hardest hit areas are Barton and Rush counties. Areas of significant sign damage also include Pawnee and Rice counties and northern Stafford County. At some point Wednesday afternoon, the KDOT closed highways in that area due to low visibility caused by the dust wind.

According to a preliminary estimate by KDOT, at least 100 stop signs were missing in the Great Bend area. Crews working since Wednesday evening have installed about 30 temporary stop signs in Barton County, and more will need to be replaced. Temporary panels are 6 inches narrower. KDOT is working to gather supply panels from other regions and also ordering new panels. Rush County lost approximately 70 stop signs, which are also being replaced.

It’s unclear when all the signs will be able to be replaced, but KDOT crews are prioritizing key intersections and have identified where stop signs are missing. Affected highways include, but are not limited to, K-4, US 56, K-156, and US 281.

If you see a downed or blown sign away from the roadway, you are encouraged to contact the nearest KDOT office or email KDOT#[email protected] with the name of the highway/l intersection, the name of the nearest town and the name of the county.

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