Blowing and drifting snow packing a punch in Nebraska Panhandle
SIDNEY (AP) - Officials with the Nebraska State Patrol are warning against travel in the state’s Panhandle region, where strong winds and snow are creating blizzard-like conditions.
A long stretch of Interstate 80 was closed in both directions from the Wyoming state line for about 100 miles. Wind-whipped snow made the roadways virtually impassable.
Several other roads and highways also were shut down in western Nebraska.
Some parts of western Nebraska were expected to get up to 8 inches of snow, made worse by wind gusts of up to 60 mph.
News Channel Nebraska's Hunter Arterburn caught up with Swift Transportation Truck Driver, Mark Reiser. Reiser is one of several truck drivers who were forced off the roads in Sidney Saturday due to blowing and drifting snow in the Nebraska Panhandle.
- All highways in the Nebraska Panhandle are closed and are not expected to reopen until midmorning on Sunday.
- Wheat Belt Public Power estimates around 60 broken power poles. Those without power can expect to be without it until further notice. The power company says they continue to work "as best they can." They will suspend operations at dark and resume early Sunday morning once the high winds recede. They are lining up help from other utilities to help in the process.
- 500 customers for High West Energy remain without power. The company continues to work on downed power poles.
- Nebraska Public Power District is reporting 130 without power east of Gering, 21 east of Minatare, 30 near Bridgeport and 70 in the Oshkosh/Lisco area.
- According to the Nebraska Department of Transportation, travelers were stranded at mile-marker 5 Saturday morning, due to an accident.
- A semi-trailer truck jackknifed at mile-marker 62. The semi was not blocking westbound traffic.
- Zero visibility at Potter, Neb.
- $500 fine if drivers go around NDOT barriers.
- Sidney residents were donating coffee and soup for NDOT employees and law enforcement officials.
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