Due to the forecast of a heavy snowstorm, Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle has declared a snow emergency beginning 12:01 a.m. Friday.
Since the snowfall is expected from late morning into the afternoon Thursday, Suttle is encouraging businesses to help keep snowplows from becoming stuck in traffic. “In the intensity of the storm we're going to ask on Thursday that employers take on some responsibility to stagger the release time of their employees for the evening peak hour. This will help us on all of our streets."
City crews are already spreading a salt brine solution on the dry streets to help keep the snow from sticking to the pavement. Once the storm gets going, city crews and private contractors will be attacking the roads.
“We're in this together,” said the mayor. “We're going to keep our city open. Our goal is the public safety. Our goal is to make sure that we have our city functioning. Our goal is to make sure if we need emergency vehicles, be it ambulances, fire trucks to get to events, that they are able to do that.”
Primary streets will be the focus during the height of the storm, so don't expect too many plows on residential streets until at least later in the day on Friday.
The snow emergency affects areas of the city east of 72nd Street. It generally means people who park along the streets should only park on the side with even numbered addresses on even days and park on the side with odd numbered addresses on odd days. For example, since Friday is the 22nd, people should park on the even side of the street east of 72nd Street.
For more details about the city’s snow emergency plan and snow removal plan, CLICK HERE.
Sisters Jeannine Kelley and Connie Souza stopped by Wohlner's at Midtown Crossing in Omaha to grab a few items before the storm hits. Jeannine is visiting from San Antonio. “We had 80 degrees on Monday in San Antonio and I had made plans already to come up here on the flight today, so it's a little bit cool here.” That ''cool" weather is about to get a lot worse.
Connie and Jeannine don't plan on going anywhere once the snow starts to fall. “We're going to be doing some housecleaning and sorting through things, so it's okay if we're snowed in,” said Connie.
Council Bluffs is declaring a snow emergency parking ban effective 8 a.m. Thursday until 8 a.m. Friday. The emergency parking ban applies to all streets posted as snow emergency routes by the city of Council Bluffs. During the parking ban, vehicles are subject to a fine and/or towing at the owners expense.
Council Bluffs has also declared a mandatory even/odd parking ban for snow removal from 8 a.m. Friday (with parking allowed on the even numbered addressed side of the street only) until 5 p.m. Saturday (when parking will be allowed on the odd numbered addressed side of the street only). Vehicles are subject to a fine and/or towing at the owners expense if illegally parked.
During the even/odd parking ban, no parking will be allowed in cul-de-sacs until the snow has been plowed from the cul-de-sac.
Mayor Chris Beutler has declared a snow emergency for Lincoln starting 6 p.m. Wednesday. A snow emergency means parking is banned on emergency snow routes, bus routes and other major arterial streets.