With snow emergency in effect, omaha plows work overnight

Published: Jan. 25, 2021 at 10:40 AM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Omaha has declared a snow emergency effective Monday night at midnight.

During a snow emergency:

  • Parking is not permitted on snow routes.
  • Parking restrictions will be in place in all neighborhoods east of 72nd Street.
  • Vehicles must be parked on the side of the street with even addresses by midnight tonight and then move to the other side (odd number side of the street) by Wednesday, Jan. 27.
  • Vehicles in violation will be ticketed or towed. The city will not issue tickets between 6 p.m. and midnight. $50 fine.

According to a release, contractors will begin neighborhood snow removal at 2 p.m.

Due to the amount of snow, the city will plow to the middle of designated streets instead of the curb to maintain pedestrian access. Designated streets include Dodge Street east of Happy Hollow Blvd. and most downtown streets. Snow plowed to the middle will be picked up after the storm.

The FCC cancels trash collection for Monday, not sure about Tuesday for now. There isn’t an end date on the snow emergency due to more snow being expected on Wednesday. It’s encouraged for people to park in their driveways. It helps snow removal three to four days down the road.

There are 25 different contractors this year and they will continue to be in the city until the snow gets cleaned up. They are assuming the contractors will be here the whole week. There are about 1,150 city trucks.

It’s illegal to put snow from your driveway into the city streets, they say it creates a safety issue. Also, when a resident throws fresh snow on snow that was already melted down from the plow drivers, it creates icy patches in a few days.

More information regarding the city’s snow emergency can be found on the city’s website.

Watch Monday’s news conference

A warning tonight for drivers who use Dodge Street, the stretch that goes from Happy Hollow to Downtown. The snow emergency means city plows are putting piles in the middle of the road.

By piling the snow in the middle of the road, it doesn’t clog up the curbs and sidewalks and makes it easier for city crews to collect it at a later point. And then move it by truck somewhere else.

Here’s the second warning, be careful if you’re trying to cross Dodge where there isn’t a stoplight. Otherwise, this can happen.

The driver thought she could get through it, but was high centered.

As Photographer Roger Hamer and I stopped to help, a pickup stopped by equipped with shovels. Thanks to the Hagar’s for doing the heavy lifting.

We were able to get the driver unstruck. But the way, this wasn’t much of a welcome to town for her.

She just moved here from California.

Meanwhile, across the metro, a number of people tried to get ahead of the storm.

With the understanding, they may be shoveling three or four times before all is said and done.

Public Works also stressed what drivers are told to do in neighborhoods. It’s not a dry street policy, meaning curb to curb.

Snowplow drivers are instructed to plow a foot from the curb, otherwise, drivers tear up grass and hit mailboxes, which creates more headaches.

The city’s goal was to clean main and secondary roads tonight. Residentials will come later.

But when it comes to the city’s report card for their performance today, ask the drivers who “paid” to get towed out of the snow.

If anybody had a good day, it was Superior Towing, out to help anyone at a cost.

“We’ve probably only been out here for an hour and people are stuck all over the place, said Joseph Adler of Superior Towing. I really recommend staying inside unless you have to be out here.”

City plows kept on clearing major roadways. But not enough early Monday evening to keep this driver from moving along Ames Ave.

“This guy who works for himself is out here towing me, not the City of Omaha,” they said.

The city isn’t sure how long it’ll take to clear Monday’s snowfall, but about 115 plows will work overnight.

Contractors still have to make neighborhoods passable. If crews send snow back in your yard, don’t push it back on the street. It’s illegal.

“If each snowplow would stop and plow out everyone’s driveway, we’d be here until June,” said Mayor Jean Stothert.

Roads like Dodge near 72nd are still a work in progress.

Just look at this man who says overcorrecting after a patch of ice put him here in the median.

“I’m thankful that there are people like this who are still kind enough to give people a helping hand even though the city isn’t doing the best. Overall I’d say the city is out here, they’re plowing, but as you can see it’s coming down,” said Austin Buller.

A work in progress for a city with a $9 million budget for removing ice and snow.

The city is warning you to stay home.

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