NDOT and NSP cautions drivers as latest storm impacts state

LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) – Nebraska looks to be in store for another major winter storm this week which will impact travelers across much of the state.

This week, the Nebraska Department of Transportation (NDOT) crews are prepared for the latest round of winter weather. While the forecast could fluctuate, concerns are highest with the potential for freezing rains and potential heavy snowfall during the storm. This system will work its way through the state beginning overnight and will continue in waves through Tuesday, creating slush and snow covered roadways. Drivers are encouraged to plan accordingly. Workers and equipment will be out to clear the highways and monitor changing conditions throughout the storm.

“This winter storm looks to impact much of the state, with potential for significant snowfall,’ said Interim NDOT Director Moe Jamshidi. “Just as we have for the snow storms that have already come through this winter season, our crews at NDOT remain ready to address this winter storm and the different challenges it will bring. NDOT continues to work to maintain the safety and health of its teammates to ensure plows are out to clear the way for travelers. Drivers are encouraged to be informed about weather and road conditions before making the decision to travel. The potential for freezing rain ahead of the snow will cause slick and icy conditions. We urge caution if you must travel during this winter storm and always know before you go.”

State Troopers will be position and ready to respond throughout the state as the storm moves through,” said Colonel John Bolduc, Superintendent of the Nebraska State Patrol. “Our hope is that motorists heed the warnings of potentially hazardous driving conditions and adjust plans, if necessary. Because of the wide projected path of this winter storm, it’s imperative that everyone checks weather and road conditions before attempting to travel.”

During last week’s winter storm, troopers responded to more than 250 weather-related incidents throughout the state. If any motorists become stranded, call the NSP Highway Helpline at *55 or800-525-5555 to speak directly with an NSP dispatcher who can send help.

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 by, online at www.511.nebraska.gov, Nebraska 511′s smartphone app or by dialing 511. Travelers are also encourage to utilize NDOT’s Plow Tracker at https://plows.nebraska.gov/index.html where the public will be able to observe road conditions in real time from the cabs of NDOT Snow Plows. Please note that weather conditions are often worse than they appear on camera.

Should travel be absolutely necessary, NDOT reminds motorists to be prepared with warm clothing water and food. Be sure to travel on well-established routes and notify someone when you are leaving for your destination. If traveling a distance, a winter weather survival kit is advised with additional basic items.

Travelers are advised to not drive faster than conditions allow. Surfaces will be slick under the snow and visibility may be poor. Allow plenty of time to arrive at your destination.

With snowplows out on the roads, travelers are urged to be cautious and courteous to those operating them, making sure to:

  • Slow down as you approach plows. They travel slowly, usually 25-30 miles per hour or less.
  • Stay well behind plows to give you and them plenty of room. When traveling outside of a business or residential district, it is unlawful to follow a highway maintenance vehicle (snowplow, truck or grader) more closely than 100 feet when it is plowing snow, spreading salt or sand, or displaying a flashing amber or blue light.
  • Never pass a plow on the right – snowplows are equipped with “wing plows” which extend beyond the truck itself.
  • Know where plows are and actions they may be taking while they plow snow.

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,http://dot.nebraska.gov/safety/driving/winter/

Copyright 2020 KOLN. All rights reserved.

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