The Nebraska State Patrol and Nebraska Department of Transportation are urging caution ahead of another round of severe winter weather that will affect much of the state, according to a press release on Sunday afternoon.
The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning and winter weather advisory that include most of the state’s most-traveled roadways, including more than 350 miles of Interstate 80.
According to the National Weather Service, total snow accumulations of 2 to 5 inches are expected from portions of east central and Northeast Nebraska into west central Iowa.
The cautionary time is from 6 a.m. Monday to 3 a.m. Tuesday. The National Weather Service said to plan on slippery road conditions. Patchy blowing snow could significantly reduce visibility. The hazardous conditions could affect the morning or evening commute.
Numerous accidents were reported late Saturday afternoon and evening around Northeast Nebraska from freezing drizzle, including a double fatality on Highway 81 near Madison.
Col. John Bolduc, superintendent of the Nebraska State Patrol, said the next storm has the potential to have a major impact on travel throughout the state.
“The best way to stay safe during a winter storm is to make the important determination if travel is even necessary,” Bolduc said. “If you have to travel, be prepared for adverse driving conditions and follow safe winter driving practices.”
Travelers are advised to be alert, be aware and check the most up to date travel conditions available through 511, Nebraska’s Advanced Traveler Information System.
The system is available at all times via phone online at www.511.nebraska.gov, via Nebraska 511’s smartphone app or by dialing 511. Travelers are also encouraged to utilize Nebraska Department of Transportation’s Plow Tracker at https://plows.nebraska.gov/index.html where the public can observe road conditions in real time from the cabs of the state's snow plows.
The patrol asks motorists to note that weather conditions are often worse than they appear on camera.
“NDOT remains ready to tackle the latest storm as it makes its way through the region over the next two days,” said acting Department of Transportation director Moe Jamshidi. “Our crews are well prepared to address this storm, but we need Nebraska to do their part, too. Travel is not advised for those in the impacted areas. If you must travel, slow down, seatbelt on, give our plows room and travel safely.”
State troopers will also be on patrol throughout the state to assist any motorists in need of help. If you become stranded on the road, call the state patrol's Highway Helpline at *55 or 800-525-5555 to speak with a patrol dispatcher.
All Nebraskans are urged to follow the state patrol and transportation department accounts on social media, as well as 511, for any updates on road closure information that many be necessary.