Road crews gearing up for expected winter storm overnight


OMAHA, Ne (FOX42KPTM) - The mild days in Omaha are about to say goodbye for a little while. Now, people in the metro are bracing for snow and ice.

Wednesday night, it was the calm before the storm, but going into the overnight hours the calm is expected to turn another direction.

"The guys will be back at midnight," said Jim Laughlin, a maintenance superintendent for the Nebraska Department of Transportation.

NDOT was bustling with activity Wednesday afternoon.

"It sounds like we're going to have near blizzard conditions, so we'll deal with it."

On the other side of town, FOX 42 News caught up with John Tesarek. He was taking advantage of the mild weather this week. He went ice fishing at Lake Cunningham.

"My brother-in-law called me and said let's go try it, so I figured I'd try it," said Tesarek.

Come Thursday morning the area surrounding Lake Cunningham and the rest of the metro is expected to look a lot different. There will likely be more ice and new snow. Laughlin says there's about 10,000 tons of salt in NDOT's dome his crew can dip into. Workers by the dozen will have shifts.

"There will be roughly 40 trucks in the Greater Omaha area including south of Bellevue to a little bit north of Omaha to out in the Elkhorn area."

Laughlin told FOX 42 News the workers inside those trucks are going to be quite busy and they are going to work plenty of overtime.

"It's going to be a long day."

Laughlin also told FOX 42 News the workers will not pretreat the roads as long as any rain comes down. It says doing that would be pointless.

"If you put brine down when the rain comes it would just wash it away."

If you have to go somewhere tomorrow, there's a number you can call to check on weather and travel conditions. That number is 511. That's Nebraska's Advanced Traveler Information System.

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