The snow arrived Thursday afternoon, but preparation done Wednesday has gone a long way to making streets passable.
City work crews put brine, a mixture of salt and water, on streets Wednesday ahead of the storm in an effort to make the streets safer once it began to fall. “So when the snow begins it’s gonna hit and activate that salt, it'll slush up rather than freeze,” said the city’s Scott McIntyre. “We won’t get any bonding to the pavement and it provides a much safer driving surface.”
The plan seemed to be working. During Thursday afternoon there was slush on the streets as the snow fell and traffic was moving. “I left work about a half-hour ago, it wasn’t that bad,” said motorist Ashley Spingola. “In the past 10 minutes or so it’s really starting to come down. I'm pretty good at driving in the snow. I'm from Wisconsin, so actually the snow doesn’t bother me.”
The snow shouldn’t bother you as long as you stay on the main roads. “Our plan early on is when we have those heavy accumulations of snow is to stay on the main streets keep those commuter routes open for people who are getting home this afternoon,” said McIntyre.
The city says it could be Friday before crews get into residential areas.
David Codr of Omaha realized the only tracks he'll see in his neighborhood for the time being were those made by his pets. “You’ve got to prioritize, the main roads, that’s where most of the traffic is going. I think some people get a little too upset with the city. They do a good job for the most part."
The city is asking for our help. "If you have an option on parking in a parking lot or a neighbor’s driveway or stacking cars, it’s gonna be worth it with an event like this, it allows us to get into the streets to do a much better job,” said McIntyre.
Omaha has 100 pieces of equipment on the streets with another 100 private contractors helping out.