Wednesday's Winter Blast

By: Gary Smollen Email
By: Gary Smollen Email

The sudden drop in temperatures caught some of us off guard but the high winds and icy conditions surprised many people here in the Heartland.

Thrift stores and emergency service professionals saw an increase in business all thanks to Mother Nature.

The demand for winter coats never slowed down at the St. Vincent de Paul Store at 21st and Leavenworth. Even during the spring like temperatures over the past months the nights were cold and the coats needed.

Dan Detches says, "We'll usually give away about 40 or 50 coats a week and a lot of them are people that really don't have homes like you and I have and it is tough for them."

Joel Lehmer is checking out some of the coats recently donated to the St. Vincent de Paul store and really likes the yellow Columbia but in the end he decides against taking it.

It is warm and bright but Joel feels it really should be someone else’s coat.

Joel Lehmer says, "Didn't quite fit me right in the arms so I decided to leave it here for somebody else because I know it will fit someone else perfect. I have a wonderful coat already but that one is rain-proof and everything."

In addition to the free coats people can also pick up some winter accessories; gloves, caps and scarves are also free for the taking.

Things weren't as orderly Wednesday evening when the high winds blew through the Metro and the snow started to fly.

In fact, the high number of accidents in the Metro forced Omaha Police to quit taking reports and the Pottawattamie County 911 Center called in some extra help.

Bob Andersen says, "That's when we really started to notice an increase in the volume of calls and it lasted anywhere until 5:30 or 6 O’clock when they started to go back to normal."

The storm stopped and soon the roads were clear and the calls for help returned to normal levels.

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