TOPEKA, Kan. (WDAF) — The Kansas Department of Transportation issues a new warning as winter creeps a little closer.

KDOT announced staffing shortages continue to impact the department. Right now, KDOT says it doesn’t have enough snowplow drivers to staff snow removal in many areas this winter.

“We want motorists to know ahead of time – it’s not a matter of if the highways will be cleared this winter, but when,” Transportation Secretary Julie Lorenz said. “KDOT crews will be proactive by shifting crews and pretreating surfaces whenever possible but having fewer employees could cause delays in removing snow and ice from all the affected roadways.”

The department said it has about 25% fewer plow drivers than it’s had in previous years.

To ease the issue as much as possible, KDOT trained all employees with a CDL on snowplows earlier this year. All of those employees will be deployed to clear highways when needed this winter.

KDOT says it will assist selected applicants in obtaining a CDL upon hiring, which includes providing training. For people interested in working at KDOT, go to the state’s employment website.