Nature wreaked havoc in central Nebraska on Wednesday. But with plenty of advance notice, officials hope everyone has heeded the advice to take it easy out there, especially with the worst yet to come.
"Whatever comes, we will deal with it," Gary Kokes said, waving at passing cars outside West Lawn Elementary School in Grand Island. As the first round of snow started to fall, this crossing guard wasn't seeing much traffic.
But forecasters say the worst would hit later.
Kokes said, "Nothing you can do about it – grow up with it, live with it." It's been two months since the last major snow storm hit central Nebraska, days before Christmas.
As it was in that case, there's been plenty of advance warning.
State troopers just hope people heed the advice. Capt. Chris Kolb said, "I can anticipate difficult travel, if not closures, so err on the side of caution and stay home if you possibly can." Troopers say it's entirely possible major roads will close, so make sure to check 5–1–1 and plan trips in advance.
The state patrol is prepared, changing schedules to make sure troopers are ready. "Try to be there to react to calls for service and hopefully volume of traffic will be low and we won't have to respond to many," Kolb said. Many area cities like Kearney and Grand Island issued snow emergencies before the first flurries.
GI Mayor Jay Vavricek said, "Emergency manager, police, public works, street department, city administration, we're all ready for the snow storm."
Gary Kokes is ready with his winter gear.
"I've got layers and warmers," he said. If he has to report for duty in the morning, he said he will. Even if it's a snow day, he said his snow blower is standing by. "Gassed up, ready to go." Motorists said by 5:00 p.m. Wednesday, area roads were slick. Some said they were deceptive, they didn't look bad until drivers try to brake.
Troopers advise people to slow down and leave more room to stop.