OMAHA SNOW PLAN
Omaha's plowing efforts will put more emphasis on major roads than they have after recent storms.
Mayor Jean Stothert urged people to stay off the streets if possible.
The City of Omaha's snow emergency parking restrictions went into effect at midnight east of 72nd Street. Parking will be allowed only on the side of the street with addresses ending in even numbers. For Wednesday, Omahans must move their cars to the other side of the street.
Public and private Omaha-area schools are closed today, including the Omaha Public Schools, Millard, Papillion-La Vista and all Archdiocese of Omaha schools. The Lincoln Public Schools also are closed. District officials announced the cancellations by early afternoon Monday, the earliest many could recall calling off school. "We've been getting questions about it since last week," OPS spokeswoman Monique Farmer said. This is the first snow day this winter. Creighton University, the University of Nebraska at Omaha and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln also called off classes for today.
GOVERNMENT OFFICES AND SERVICES
Nebraska lawmakers will take a snow day. The Legislature will not debate or hold hearings. Offutt Air Force Base will be closed as well except for designated personnel. The Douglas County Board will not meet today, but the Omaha City Council expects to meet at 2 p.m. as planned. City libraries and community centers are closed. Only essential city and county employees were asked to come to work, officials said. Deffenbaugh canceled trash pickup for today.
The Omaha Public Power District expects some power outages. Charge up cellphones and have spare batteries and flashlights handy.
Omaha ambulances will take everyone to the closest hospital, rather than transporting patients to the hospital of their choice. Once conditions improve, fire officials ask that people clear snow from fire hydrants. Omaha police will respond only to accidents in which someone is injured or the vehicle can't move from the road.
It's a work-from-home day for many people. "We are discouraging travel to the office for area employees," said Kim Hillyer, a spokeswoman for Omaha-based TD Ameritrade. The brokerage firm made arrangements to transfer work to other locations around the U.S., if necessary. Other companies, too, told employees who didn't need to be on site to telecommute for the day. Union Pacific said it would have some employees working from home; for those who need to be on the job for critical functions — running railroad traffic, for example — the company booked hotel rooms.
Several flights scheduled for Monday and today at Eppley Airfield were canceled, first because of the storm's impact at the Denver airport and later at Eppley, airport officials said. About 20 flights scheduled in and out of Eppley today had been canceled by late Monday. Airport officials advised travelers to check with airlines on their flight status before heading out.