Omaha-area emergency rooms were busy Monday, treating people who had suffered broken bones, scrapes or cuts in falls on the snow-covered ice that coated sidewalks and steps in the morning.
By early afternoon, emergency rooms reported that more than 90 people had sought treatment for injuries from slips and falls.
Monday's injuries were the most to have occurred in a single morning this winter, said Jodi Hoatson, a spokeswoman for Alegent Creighton Health.
Eppley Airfield reported 1.3 inches of snow by 6 a.m. Freezing rain had started about 4 a.m. and turned to snow, said Cathy Zapotocny of the National Weather Service.
Dr. Nate Brackett, emergency room medical director at Bergan Mercy Medical Center, said Monday's injuries ranged from ankle fractures and broken wrists to head injuries.
“There will definitely be rehab involved,” Brackett said. “A few people will need surgery.”
Emergency rooms treated patients for slips and falls:
-- 56 people went to Immanuel Medical Center, Creighton University Medical Center, Lakeside Hospital, Bergan Mercy Medical Center, Mercy Hospital in Council Bluffs and Midlands Hospital in Papillion. Lakeside had about half of that number, with 27.
-- 25 people went to Methodist Hospital and Methodist Women's Hospital.
-- 11 people went to Nebraska Medical Center.
-- 3 people were treated at Jennie Edmundson Hospital in Council Bluffs, two of whom were injured in a weather-related traffic accident.
Even police were falling.
Officer Michael Pecha, an Omaha police spokesman, said he was dazed for about 10 minutes after stepping out of his truck, slipping onto his tailbone and hitting his head on the truck.
He said he “sat for a long while” before deciding to forgo the emergency room and head into the office.
“I just wasn't thinking about the layer of ice under the snow,” Pecha said.
Some of the melted snow could freeze overnight. If so, Hoatson of Alegent Creighton Health offered these tips:
-- Test the pavement for slick spots when getting out of a car and using stairs.
-- If you can't avoid a slick spot, shuffle slowly across it for better balance.
-- Keep your knees slightly bent.
World-Herald staff writer Kevin Cole contributed to this report.