Published Monday

December 18, 2000

Snow, Winds Plague Nebraska


For the fourth time in a week, schools, businesses and services all but came to a halt in Nebraska as the fourth winter storm in a week swept the state. 

"It's pretty unusual to get that many that close together," said National Weather Service meteorologist Rick Chermok. "Another system should arrive Wednesday. Snow amounts look lighter now, unless the system intensifies before it gets here." 
click to enlarge  
Felipe Gutierrez digs out his car near 24th and H Streets Monday.

The harsh weather contributed to a bus crash at Ogallala late Sunday night. The Nebraska State Patrol reported that a Greyhound bus turned over on its side about 10:45 p.m. MST just east of Big Springs on the Colorado border. 

At least two injured passengers were taken to an area hospital. 

In Cuming County, snowplows were pulled off roads Monday morning because of hazardous driving conditions. By 9 a.m. CST, drifting snow had narrowed Nebraska Highway 32 to one lane. 

The reprieve from Saturday's near-blizzard conditions lasted only part of the day Sunday as afternoon clouds moved into Nebraska. Residents awoke Monday to blowing snow and bitter wind chills, creating hazardous travel conditions and prompting many eastern schools to call off classes. 

The storm started to move through the state Sunday evening. 

"This storm is not quite as cold as Saturday," Chermok said. "We have temperatures in the teens so wind chills will not be as bad. We still will have strong winds all day - 25 to 35 mph with some higher gusts. Winds will let up tonight." 

Snowfall totals in eastern Nebraska ranged from 6 inches in Fremont, for a 16-inch total on the ground, to 4 inches in Fairbury, for a 9-inch total. Central Nebraska saw less snow overnight, with most areas receiving between one and three inches of snow. 

"We've already had more snow this winter so far than we had all last winter," Chermok said. "December has exceeded last winter's total. I guess we're paying the price for last year's mild winter." 

Wind chills hovered around 30 to 35 below zero across the eastern half of the state on Monday morning. 

Those with travel plans were advised to pay close attention to the developing winter storm and consider changing their travel plans.