Plows, Troopers Work to Keep Roads Safe During Storm

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Nebraska Department of Roads officials said they got an early start Thursday morning to try and keep the state highways and the interstate open.

But, as the snow storm continues, keeping roads passable and drivers safe also becomes more difficult.

Nebraska State Patrol Trooper Vincent Hernandez said this snow storm has kept Troop C busy.

"Progressively gotten worse throughout the day," he said. "We've had numerous accidents out on the interstate and some state highways."

According to the NDOR, plows were out before sunrise trying to keep Interstate-80 and state highways open.

"The whole fleet is out and about and we've got some motor graders out helping plow snow and stuff, so we're in full force as of right now," said NDOR District 4 Operations Manager Allen Horak said early Thursday afternoon.

Plow drivers like Jim Klanecky say steady snowfall and even a little wind makes it difficult to keep up.

"It's hard to see and the snow blows up into your windshield," said Klanecky.

Roads officials say it's reports from the road that help them determine if they should close highways or the interstate.

Horak says District 4's communications room is manned 24-7 during winter weather.

"We communicate across our whole area that there's someone in here, so if our supervisors out on the road, if they say well we need to update our road conditions or whatever the person that's in here can update it for any in our area," he said.

They also update 511 information and even change the message signs on the interstate to help people out on the road.

But, officials say if you can avoid driving in this storm - stay put.

"If they have to drive, to use a lot of caution," said Hernandez. "If you don't necessarily have to, just stay home."

If you are driving Friday and get behind a plow, roads officials ask that you slow down.

At least one state truck plowing in Central Nebraska was hit by another vehicle Thursday. Snow can swirl around trucks and make it difficult to see.