Snow Plows Moving Through Residential Areas, Zoo Opening Delayed

Plowing of snow throughout Lincoln’s residential neighborhoods continued Friday morning, with fifty nine City and contractor crews on the job.  Curb-to-curb plowing in residential areas began Thursday morning around 8 a.m., with additional units joining the job as they finished clearing arterials, bus and school routes, and emergency routes.  A snow emergency remaining in effect as of 5 a.m. Friday, but all parking bans had been lifted.

Looming Friday night and Saturday is another potential round of precipitation.  This time, a “wintry mix” is forecast between 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday morning.

Cleanup after Wednesday night’s four inch snowfall in Lincoln required a quick change of plans.  City Street officials were expecting one to two inches, and had crews scheduled in to begin pre-treating streets at midnight.  Instead, they found out around 10:30 p.m. that the band of heaviest snow was tightening, and would focus on a narrow area of Eastern Nebraska that included Lincoln.

“We started getting some indications that maybe the accumulations were starting to tick up” said City Street Maintenance Supervisor Tim Byrne.  “With that additional information, we made the decision to activate additional resources.”

Byrne said the heaviest snow began shortly after midnight, and 60 plows were on the streets by 2 a.m.

Many drivers called the KFOR newsroom during the morning drive period Thursday complaining that many arterials hadn’t been plowed yet.  Byrne said the arterials had been plowed by around 8 a.m., adding that the timing was unfortunate, with a midnight start, but “plowing those 1,200 miles of Lincoln streets takes a few hours.”

Byrne said after the arterials were completed, plows began switching to residential areas.  The odd-even residential parking ban was not declared in this storm, Byrne said, because of the temperature, sunshine, and relatively rapid melting.  He added, however, that residents can insure that crews can do a better job in their neighborhood if their vehicles are off the streets until plowing is complete.

The Wednesday night snowstorm, along with cold temperatures, forced a delay in the spring opening of the Lincoln Children’s Zoo.

“It’s not about the remodeling” said Zoo head John Chapo.  “It’s all about insuring the best experience possible for our guests.”

Set for Friday, the Zoo opening was delayed two weeks to March 22nd.

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