Storm shelters located along Kansas Turnpike

Local

Drivers traveling on the Kansas Turnpike have a way to protect themselves during severe weather.

There are around 30 tornado shelters located along the turnpike, which stretches for more than 200 miles.

The shelters are marked by a sign and are located at most of the manned toll booths.

According to turnpike officials, most of the shelters are underground or in the basement area of a toll building.

Every shelter has a flashlight, first aid kit, radio, water and batteries.

The shelter can fit around 15 people, while bigger shelters can fit around 30 people.

Tornado shelter locations can be found on the KTA website.

Kansas Highway Patrol said the shelters are not community shelters, which means individuals should not leave their house to take shelter along the turnpike.

“You’re in danger leaving your house,” said Capt. Joe Bott. “You should have a plan already in place at your house. This is for if you’re on the highway or the roadway itself, and you find yourself in a situation of danger.”

Bott added people should not be out on the road during severe weather.

‘We kind of like to say treat it like a snow and ice event,” he said. “If you don’t have to be somewhere and there’s bad weather forecasted, don’t make the trip.”

If you happen to be driving, Bott said it’s important to have a plan before you head out on the road — know what you’re going to do and where you’re going to go if the weather gets bad.

“Besides a tornado, there’s dangers of lightning and hail,” said Bott. “The car offers some safety. The ditch does offers some safety for tornadoes.”

Bott does not recommend drivers to go under an overpass.

“The dangers of debris flying and everything, you’re really more at risk under an overpass,” he said.

More emergency preparedness tips can be found on the Sedgwick County Emergency Management website.

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