County road crew ready for April winter storm

Staff Writer

“We’re ready.”

That’s what Chris Jacobsen, Custer County Highway Department Supervisor, said when asked about preparations of the county road crew for the snow storm that’s moving into the area today and through tomorrow.

The forecast is calling for eight to 12 inches of snow in many areas with high winds possibly gusting to 60 mph.

The high winds are key to how the county will approach this storm. Priorities are to assist with power outages and emergencies.

“We’ve contacted the power company to let them know they are our number one people on our list to assist,” Jacobsen said. “In an April storm, there’s a high probably of power outages. If CCPD has an emergency issue that requires us to lead, they will let us know.”

The county road department has also contacted emergency services. “If someone has a health condition, we’ll saddle up,” Jacobsen said. However, there is a caveat.

“In a full blizzard, it’s usually a crawl,” he said. “We’ll make an effort. We hope everybody hunkers down and made preparations.”

Jacobsen recommends people do not put themselves at risk. If someone has a condition that may require emergency services during the storm, he recommends they make accommodations to stay in town.

The county will not send out crews if high winds will blow roads shut as soon as they are plowed. In white-out conditions, without being able to see reference points, especially at night, the crews risk running off the road and getting stuck themselves. County road crews will get out as soon as conditions allow.

“We don’t want to complicate the situation by getting out there and getting equipment stuck,” Jacobsen said. “That will cause problems getting them out.”

The Chief joins Jacobsen and the county crew in recommending people stay put during the storm and not put themselves and people who would be called upon to assist them at risk by venturing out. Events are being cancelled or postponed. If a person must travel, pack a winter survival kit and call ahead to let others know. Be fully aware that emergency responders may not be able to get to a stranded traveler quickly.

The storm should be short-lived with snow tapering off Saturday afternoon in some areas.

Custer County is in a Blizzard Warning effective from 1 p.m. Friday to 7 p.m. Saturday. Most all of Nebraska, with the exception of a few far southeastern counties are under either a Blizzard Warning, Winter Storm Warning or Winter Storm Watch.