City of Grand Island Declares Snow Alert/Emergency

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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. -- Grand Island saw snow since Tuesday morning, and more is expect to fall throughout the night.

In preparation for this the city declared a Snow Alert starting at 6 p.m.

As the snow continued to fly, the plows were getting ready to hit the streets.

As part of the Snow Alert that will go until noon on Wednesday, all cars must be off emergency routes.

As the snow piles up, the Grand Island Street Division is hoping people will keep their cars off the roads.

"It helps our snow removal effort so we can get the snow all the way off the street," said Grand Island Street Superintendent Shannon Callahan. "It also helps the public so their cars don't get buried so there's a less chance of property damage if someone slides into it. It just makes it safer all around."

The Street Division decided to make it illegal for cars to be on some roads during the 18 hour period.

"We just base that on what the forecast is and then trying to watch the radars and be as informed as possible to try to make a good decision as far as the timing. We also take into account, you know, what are people doing?" said Callahan.

And police are asking people to adhere to these requests.

Crime Prevention Officer Butch Hurst said, "We'd much rather get the compliance with the emergency snow route than to have to go ticket someone or to tow their vehicle."

The first areas that will be taken care of are the Emergency Routes, which can be done in 6 hours.

Callahan said, "Those emergency routes get used by emergency services and they need to be opened up. They also carry the most amount of traffic and so those are our #1 concern, our #1 priority."

And there are other precautions to take for people who are driving in this weather.

"This will be, probably, the first major snow storm of our season this year so, people forget and you have to relearn it every year," said Hurst.

Callahan added, "Stay back if you're following a snow plow. It's supposed to be windy with the snow so low visibility. So make sure you give yourself enough time to get places. Good breaking distance, don't follow as closely. And, of course, stay home where it's warm."

If you do go out, pack your car with necessary equipment.

"Always water, always chocolate or something to eat. Blankets, sleeping bags, anything to keep warm and some type of flashlight. You just need to be prepared," said Hurst.

Previous Post: The City of Grand Island has declared a Snow Alert/Emergency beginning at 6 p.m. Tuesday until Noon Wednesday.

The City reminds residents that no vehicles are allowed on the City's snow emergency routes during the Snow Alert/Emergency. The routes have red, white and blue emergency signs posted every few blocks on these streets. You can also find a list of the routes on the city's website at the link below.

The Grand Island Police Department says parked and/or abandoned vehicles on these routes are subject to being towed away.

The city encourages drivers to limit driving until the weather subsides and the streets are cleared.

Residents are reminded that snowplows may throw snow onto curb sidewalks and driveways. The Street Department says residents shouldn't shovel curb sidewalks or driveways until the streets have been cleared of snow.