Heavy winds battered the metro Wednesday causing traffic troubles and widespread power outages. Most of the power has been restored, though spotty outages remain.
As of 2 p.m. Thursday, 98 customers were still without power in Omaha and the surrounding counties.
The wind blew over a semi around 5 p.m., blocking both westbound lanes of Interstate 80 at the bottom of the Exit 40 entrance ramp at Avoca, Iowa.
The Omaha Airport Authority told WOWT 6 News that the wind caused three flights to be diverted from Omaha. Two were sent to Des Moines and one to Kansas City. Both flights eventually returned to Omaha later Wednesday.
One of the flights that did make it in was a connecting American Airlines flight out of Dallas carrying WOWT’s Mike McKnight. After a bumpy approach, the plane landed safely to the applause of the passengers on board. One of them told Mike, “I need a beer now.”
Power outages were plentiful as tree limbs toppled onto power lines. In Omaha's Dundee neighborhood, an old tree snapped and took out power lines in Richard Belik's back yard. “I was opening up an OPPD bill at the time and then the power went out."
A circuit bound by Blondo Street to California Street, 74th Street to 89th Plaza returned to service at 5:10 p.m. The outage was caused by tree limbs in wires at 77th and Western.
A second circuit from Fort Street to Elkhorn Ridge Drive and 200th Avenue to 216th Street was restored at 5:34 p.m. The cause was a transformer pole down at 204th and Wirt.