Employees Go Home In Staggered Shifts

With the bulk of the snow coming as people were getting off work, businesses were asked to stagger times when employees were sent home.

Union Pacific has always followed the plan of staggered release times for employees when heavy snow hits.

But other businesses were faced with a dilemma of should we stay or should we go as Winter Storm Q inched toward the metro area.

One of the area's largest employers, Union Pacific really had no choice but to stagger release times for employees.

The company employs 7,000 people and if they were all to leave at the same time that would create real problems.

"We're still coordinating with the city. Once they give the determination that it’s their coordinated effort to leave downtown, we'll follow their lead and go with that,” Union Pacific Spokesman Mark Davis said. “Naturally as everyone knows there's a lot of traffic in the downtown area when everybody leaves, so for Union Pacific, it'll be employees that physically are not running trains at the time."

Area restaurants were faced with a little different situation. At DJ's Dugout at 10th and Capitol, it's more of a decision to keep the business open or not since only 11 employees were scheduled today.

"We are prepared to cut the staff and let people go home...safety first for us here,” General Manager Sunni Renner said. “Downtown we're feeding the USA hockey team and we've got a lot of UNO people coming in even though the game has been postponed until Saturday. More than likely we'll probably be closing around 9 o'clock. We're really just going to play it by ear."

Down the street at Pettit's Pastry, owner Mark Pettit says it's also a wait and see approach for employees.

"They're already coming in at different times and a lot of them have already called in and are not coming in this afternoon, so we'll just run on a smaller crew," he said. "Whether it's snowmageddon or not, I don't know. If it happens it happens. We'll be here ready to serve donuts to our customers."

Offutt Air Force base authorized a staggered early release for non-essential personnel at 12:15 and closed the base at 2:00.

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