Snow day is playtime for some, more work for others

Jennifer Stultz
Pratt Tribune
Terry Williamson (on the shovel) and Josh Williamson (snow machine) team up to clean off the sidewalks at the corner of Sixth and Oak streets Wednesday in Pratt.

A slow-moving snowstorm dumped more than 4 inches of wet snow on Pratt County starting around 5 p.m. on December 2 and continuing intermittently through the early morning hours of December 3.

"We had reports of snow and rain mix from the Pratt Regional Airport as early as noon on December 2, but the steady snow started falling around 5 p.m.," said Jeff Johnson, meteorologist at the U.S. National Weather Service Station at Dodge City.

Johnson said the heaviest snow fell from 10-11 p.m. on Tuesday, then stopped for a few hours, and began again from 1:30-2 a.m. and again from 5:30-6 a.m.

"Weather temperatures seemed to hover right above freezing most of Tuesday, then dropped into the 20s after midnight," Johnson said.

In Pratt, schools initiated a two-hour delay for Wednesday morning classes, with Skyline canceling all classes for the entire day shortly after.

"We just found out at 8 this morning that we had the day off," said Skyline student Avery Haskett. "We came out here and had this whole place to ourselves. It's not even cold. The snow is great!"

Avery Haskett, left, and Emmersyn Haskett, right, pose with the boyfriend they created for Avery, a snowman named Drew, Wednesday morning at Graves Park off South Rochester Street. It was a snow day for Pratt Skyline students.

Haskett and her siblings, Ethan, Emmersyn and Kennadie, plus close friend Kyrian Keeling spent several hours at Graves Park on South Rochester, sledding the hill from the tennis courts, building a snowman and throwing snowballs at each other.

In other parts of town, snow removal teams were hard at work clearing city streets and sidewalks on Wednesday as the wet snow melted.

"We've been out here since 3 a.m. clearing sidewalks for our rentals," said Terry Williamson of TK Handyman Service.

By 11 a.m., he and son, Josh Williamson, found that the snow was almost too wet for their removal equipment but they were still moving it best they could for the safety of friends and clients.

With 22 home rental owners to look out for, Williamson said it was pretty much a full-time job to get sidewalks clear after snowstorms in Pratt.

Elsewhere in the state, Dodge City and areas south into Clark County turned in the highest total snowfall inches.

"Minneola had 10 inches, Coldwater reported 12 inches, extreme southwestern Clark County west of Englewood received 14 inches," said Johnson, at the Dodge City weather station. "We will have a general warmup the rest of the week, looking at 50s for temperatures by the weekend."

According to personnel at the Pratt County Law Enforcement Center there were three snow/weather-related vehicle accidents on December 2 and 3, but non of those resulted in injury or death.

More than 4 inches of snow fell in Pratt from Tuesday to Wednesday, resulting in picturesque scenes all around town the next morning.