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Larned area prepares for sub-zero temperatures
cold larned
Sub-zero temperatures brought downtown travel to a minimum in Larned Thursday morning.

LARNED — Advance warning for the weekend severe weather had Larned residents out Wednesday bracing for the cold.

Retailers reported a steady stream of shoppers loading up on ice melt and cold weather implements as the temperature began to drop ahead of the scant moisture driven by winds from the north as the weather front dipped down.

C.B. Young, manager at Big R in Larned, reported brisk sales of ice melt, with hats, gloves and ice removal equipment thrown into the mix.

“It was good that we had enough advance warning on this so that we were stocked up to help people get ready,” Young noted Thursday. 

Meanwhile, at Doerr’s Ace Hardware on Main Street, the focus was on home preparation.

“We’ve had a pretty good run on shovels and ice melt, but we had more sales on space heaters and heat-tape,” noted Doerrs’ Dean Earegood. “It’s tapered off this morning, but we expect that it will continue pretty steady through the weekend.”

Due to weather concerns, both the Pawnee County Courthouse and the City of Larned office were closed Thursday as well as Friday through Monday for the Christmas holiday. Several downtown businesses were also closed Thursday due to weather.

Christmas had several local services already scheduled to be closed through the weekend, with the Pawnee County Courthouse closed Friday through Monday in observance of the holiday. The Pawnee County Landfill will be closed Friday Dec. 23 through Monday Jan. 2.

Christmas break for USD 495 began Wednesday and continues through Jan. 3.

Warnings of the approaching cold front began Monday, with expected snowfall amounts dwindling in favor of dropping temperatures with blustery winds producing chill factors well below zero by late Wednesday. As road crews began prepping for ice on streets and roadways, the storm brought scant amounts of moisture and small drifts of blowing snow as the temperature plummeted.

The Larned community did experience a brief power outage at about 10 p.m. Wednesday, but was restored in about 30 minutes as local generation kicked in.

Temperatures Thursday morning hovered at or just below the zero mark and gusty winds made downtown travel treacherous on the ice, on hills and at intersections. Highways were mostly clear, with patches of ice near curves and bridges. By mid-morning, traffic was steady but thinner than usual for the workweek.