City says Lincoln ready for winter storm; snow removal may take longer in rural areas

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) — Lincoln and Lancaster County officials on Wednesday addressed road conditions and preparations ahead of a potential winter storm.

A snow emergency will go into effect in the city at 8 p.m. but there will be no parking bans yet.

The Lincoln Transportation and Utilities Department touted its new equipment.

“We do have an additional 11 new snowplows this year out on the street that are ready,” LTU Director Liz Elliott said.  “We have been preparing the last couple of days to kind of refill up our trucks and do some last-minute maintenance.”

But in rural areas of Lancaster County, keeping the 1,400 miles of rural roads cleared might take longer. 

“Lancaster County is currently short snowplows, and we have a little bit of a supply chain issue with parts and repairs,” Lancaster County Engineer Pam Dingman said.

Since most roads in the county are not paved and not lit, it can be difficult for crews to take care of them. 

Dingman said treating rural roads can be different from treating city roads because conditions are different. 

“In the county, we will be using primarily salt and sand as the storm progresses, mainly because of the conditions of the snow and the blowing snow,” she said. 

LTU said decisions on treating residential roads in the city will be made as the storm progresses. 

“We are better able to response to residence service request after a storm has passed and arterial and emergency streets have been serviced,” Elliott said. 

She said the city also has additional resources to help if needed. 

“We do have our contractor on standby as well,” she said. “So, if we do need to pull in those additional resources, they are ready and willing to help out when needed.” 

LTU said if whiteout conditions occur, it may delay both city and county plowing. 

County and city teams have trained together in preparation for winter weather. 

“We practice it, we practice winter conditions, Dingman said. “Does it mean we are prepared for everything? No. But it means we are prepared for most things.”  

For more information on road conditions, you can visit the city’s webpage

Categories: Lancaster, News, Top Stories, Weather