Central Nebraska Cleans Up After April Winter Storm

The weather seems to have gone from Spring to Winter. But it's the Winter part Sunday that really caused problems.

Central Nebraska has dealt with snow before, in fact quite frequently.

But Sunday a mix of snow, hail, and freezing rain all but closed down parts of the central area.

People driving along the interstate near Kearney suddenly found themselves stuck in more snow than they planned for.

"They got quite a bit more snow and where the snow plows did push the snow off there, the snow was probably about 3 feet deep," said Robert Stevenson, a Heavy Wrecker Operator for Kramer's Wrecker Service.

In fact a 20 mile stretch of the interstate had to be closed for several hours.

"We started having accidents, we had a couple of trucks that jackknifed, one flipped over blocking the lanes so at that point there's really not a whole lot of choice, it's closed whether we want it closed or not," said Lieutenant Bill Keeling with the Nebraska State Patrol, Troop C.

But the interstate is open now, and clear of cars stuck in ditches after hours of work by tow companies.

"Well just our 2 big ones, we didn't go over there for any of the cars. Me, myself, did about 6 of them over there, wenching trucks out and towing 1 back here," said Stevenson.

The State Patrol said with weather like Sunday's, slow down. Don't go the posted 75 miles per hour.

Lieutenant Keeling said, "If you're going from an area that is reasonably clear and then you run into that all of a sudden sometimes speeds don't get adjusted as quickly as they should."

But roads weren't the only problem in the weather. The Central Nebraska Regional Airport canceled one arrival and three departing flights.

"The ground crews had a monumental task in de-icing the aircraft. And with 40 mph winds, they simply couldn't get all the fluid on the wings that they are required to get," said Mike Olson, the Director of the CNRA.

But Monday passengers got to their destination.

Olson said, "The aircraft that was here from American Eagle went out this morning and both Allegiant flights went out this morning."

The airport, along with State Patrol, always try to do what's best for the public.

"It's always better to go conservative and make the right call based on safety," said Olson.

Monday the sun melted most of the snow and dried up the roads. But Sunday was reminder that severe Winter weather can hit anytime in Central Nebraska and we need to be ready for it, especially since we may not be done with it yet this year.


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