WICHITA, Kan (KSNW) — Local hardware stores and state road crews are preparing for what could be a messy winter blast.

While many Kansans have been enjoying some warmer than average days in December, it looks like a blast of actual winter weather could arrive just in time for the New Year. 

“It looks like rain first, and any pretreatment that goes down before then, and then if rain hits, it’s worthless. It just rinses off,” said Tom Hein, the KDOT Wichita public affairs manager. 

A wintry mess. KDOT and the City of Wichita have crews on standby for Friday and Saturday. 

“If you don’t need to travel in this storm, it’s a good idea not to because, with the cold temperatures and the uncertainty of what kind of moisture we’re going to have on the highways and how slick they are going to be, it’s best not to get out if you don’t have to,” said Hein. 

Hein said staffing shortages at KDOT will impact their approach. He noted fewer plows would be on the road, and highway maintenance would take longer. 

“We hope for no accidents, but that just usually isn’t the case, especially with the first slick storm where people have forgotten a little bit on how to drive,” said Hein. 

John Tyrrell is an assistant store manager of an ACE hardware store in Wichita. He said they are bringing out all their snow supplies, such as shovels, ice melt, hand-held ice scrapers and snow brushes but don’t expect a massive rush unless snow begins falling. 

“I don’t like the wintertime. I’m not a big fan of snow and ice, so the sooner it comes, the sooner it goes,” said Tyrrell. 

Tyrrell recommends that everyone is prepared for this upcoming wintry mess. His tips include making sure vehicles are prepped with de-icers, making sure your animals are taken care of, especially those who spend most of their time outdoors, preparing any drafty windows or doors on your home, and making sure you have extra heating options such as space heaters.

“Everyone is always like, woah, it’s snowing what is going on. It’s part of nature and our wonderful weather here in Kansas,” said Tyrrell. 

Hein recommends that if you have to drive this weekend, make sure to put together an emergency winter car kit. He says pack things like blankets, flashlights, and batteries. Also, include a cellphone charger and high-energy snacks and bottled water. 

The City of Wichita will be holding a press conference Thursday about the upcoming weather.