Nebraska officials urge caution as new storm threat looms to the west

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LINCOLN, Neb. (WOWT) -- Nebraska is bracing for the next round of severe weather and state officials are warning people to be prepared.

Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts assembled state leaders Wednesday afternoon for an update on the flooding recovery and plans for the incoming storm that is expected to bring blizzard conditions to western and north-central Nebraska.

We got a preview of the intensity of the storm as winds ripped through Colorado Wednesday in advance of the expected blizzard conditions there.

The incoming storm will bring a variety of troubles to the Central Plains Wednesday night into Thursday night including significant snow accumulation, whiteout conditions from falling and blowing snow, extremely difficult to impossible travel and dangerous conditions for livestock.

In addition to the snow, winds gusting to 60 mph are anticipated with this storm.

"This latest storm looks again to have significant impact on a majority of the state,” said NDOT Director Kyle Schneweis.

Motorists are advised to avoid travel into the threatened area and use caution as conditions deteriorate.

The Nebraska Department of Transportation issued this statement Wednesday afternoon:

With the predicted blizzard bringing ice, heavy snow and high wind into the western states this afternoon, the Nebraska Department of Transportation (NDOT) is closing I-80 west of I-76 to the Wyoming line at 5:00 p.m. MDT/6:00 p.m. CDT. Timing of closures are shifting as a result of potential road closings in other states as well as shifting conditions with the storm. NDOT will continue to monitor the situation and respond as necessary.

Travelers are advised to be alert, be aware and check the most up to date travel conditions and closures available through 511, Nebraska’s Advanced Traveler Information System. The system is available at all times via phone, online at www.511, Nebraska 511’s smartphone app or by dialing 511.

Travelers are also encourage to utilize NDOT’s Plow Tracker at where the public will be able to observe road conditions in real time from the cabs of NDOT snowplows.

Please note that weather conditions are often worse than they appear on camera.

Motorists are reminded to make sure everyone in their vehicle wears a seat belt and children are in a car safety seat. Do not use cruise control in wet or snowy weather and keep a full gas tank.

For safe-driving tips and winter weather information, visit NDOT’s website.

As a reminder, the NSP Highway Helpline is available 24 hours per day for motorists in need of assistance. Drivers can reach NSP by dialing *55 from any cell phone. Call 911 for any emergency.

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