Late-winter Storm Leaving Midwest; Roads Reopen
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Authorities discouraged travel Monday in eastern Nebraska and much of western Iowa as crews reopened roadways and cleared away remnants of a late-winter storm that was headed east.
Workers cleared portions of Iowa Highway 141 and U.S. highways 59, 30 and 20 in western Iowa that were reported impassable earlier on Monday, and Interstates 80 and 29 were open for traffic.
Sections of both interstates were temporarily closed on Sunday as blowing snow created whiteout in many spots. Officials reported several multiple-car accidents Sunday along a 200-mile stretch of Interstate 80 that runs east and west through the two states.
The storm came from the southwest and dumped 10 inches on Ogallala as it moved east across Nebraska late Saturday into Sunday. Its course surprised forecasters because it remained farther south than expected and persisted through early Monday morning before leaving eastern Nebraska and western Iowa, said National Weather Service meteorologist Becky Kern.
Snowplows have been clearing roads and parking lots in the storm's wake while snow removal teams doggedly cleared away the heavy accumulations on sidewalks and driveways.
Kat Thompson, dispatcher for Snow Removal, of Omaha, said her two three-member crews had been maneuvering their snow throwers and hefting shovels full of snow since about 10 p.m. Sunday.
"It was worse than what we thought," Thompson said, explaining that the snow was heavier and deeper than expected.
"We normally do a driveway every 30 to 45 minutes," she said. On Monday, Thompson said, it was running 60 to 75 minutes per driveway.
Storm totals ranged up to 11 inches in David City, Neb., and to 12 inches in Little Sioux, Iowa. The Omaha total was 9 inches at Eppley Airfield.
Authorities in Nebraska blamed the weather for at least one fatality. The Lancaster County Sheriff's Office said 22-year-old Justin Muhm lost control of his southbound vehicle Sunday on icy Nebraska Highway 43 near Bennet.
What's On KCRG