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Winter Weather Taking Toll On Kansas Residents

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Coffeyville has seen three fires in five days due to people trying to stay warm in winter weather. Coffeyville has seen three fires in five days due to people trying to stay warm in winter weather.
Southeastern Kansas got the most snow out of the latest winter storm that blew through, plus the sub-freezing temperatures. Southeastern Kansas got the most snow out of the latest winter storm that blew through, plus the sub-freezing temperatures.
Aaron Phillips, Director of the Red Cross in Coffeyville, Kansas. Aaron Phillips, Director of the Red Cross in Coffeyville, Kansas.
COFFEYVILLE, Kansas -

Southeastern Kansas got the most snow out of the latest winter storm that blew through, plus the sub-freezing temperatures.

Downtown Coffeyville was open for business but covered in snow.

Aaron Phillips spent much of his Monday morning clearing the sidewalk in front of the American Red Cross building. He's the director there and said the cold weather is taking its toll on southeastern Kansas.

"People are just trying to stay warm no matter what they can do, and as a result, we've had some extra fires because of it," Phillips said.

Three fires in five days, he said, including one early Saturday morning, in Cherryvale, that left four people without a home. The cause for the fire is still under investigation, but Phillips said there's a common link between the others.

"Using space heaters some, one was a candle. One person, actually, used a device to try to stay warm in the house that they shouldn't have been using and that was a charcoal grill, actually, so had a fire as a result of that," said Phillips.

The Montgomery County emergency manager said the latest storm didn't cause any major problems across the county and the major roads were free of snow and ice.

But this winter weather is the talk of the town.

Coffeyville Resident, Kevin Buetow said, "Just long term cold is what it is."

Buetow said he had ice close to ten inches thick on his pond.

When asked if he had ever seen anything like that, he said, "Not in a long time, not since I was a kid maybe."

For Violet Walker and her daughter there's a rainbow at the end of the day, or at least Tuesday night, when they make their way to Hawaii.

"Supposed to be 80 degrees there when we get there," Walker said.

They're going to a wedding and then vacation for a couple of weeks; and they just can't wait to say goodbye to the Kansas winter.

Anyone needing help in southeastern Kansas to avoid the cold or snowy weather is encouraged to contact the American Red Cross at 1-888-460-1050.

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