Staffing shortage could hamper efforts to keep Kansas highways clear of snow this winter

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Department of Transportation says it is facing a staffing shortage that could slow the clearing of highways in winter storms.

The department said Tuesday that it is about 30% short of being fully staffed with snowplow operators across the state. In addition, the agency said the staffing shortage is worse this year than it has been in the past.

Transportation Secretary Julie Lorenz said the staffing shortage means that some highways might not be cleared as quickly as they have been in the past with inclement weather.

She said she’s warning motorists now so they can plan ahead or alter travel plans when the state faces winter storms.

Wichita said the city is fully staffed at 151 drivers and expects to ramp up to 166 drivers for the winter.

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