Grand Island police aid those stuck in whiteout conditions

Grand Island police rescue a man whose pickup got stuck in deep snow in a flood detention cell (NTV News)

Mother nature may get the last laugh, as some in the tri-cities look a chance the storm may not be so bad after all, but were quickly proven otherwise.

That includes Amy Solis who ventured out Monday in whiteout conditions, with a trip to the grocery store.

"Crazy. I haven't been out since yesterday, didn't think it was going to do this," she said.

She wasn't the only one, as some lost the footing as they shopped, with about two dozen vehicles in the Super Saver lot around 9 a.m. Monday, as 50 mile an hour winds howled.

Solis said, "Can't see anything within a half a block not even a quarter of a block. I couldn't even see the driveway."

The snow that was forecast to hit in the Sunday evening hours, instead fell in the predawn dark Monday, as police watched conditions worsen.

Sgt. Kevin Sheeks said, "Snow started around 4:15 or so. Right now, it's icy conditions and drifting. 281 northbound on Stolley is pretty much closed down right now, till we get semis cleared. They can't get over the overpass."

Much of their day spent trudging through snow, as happened at the Wasmer detention cell, where a pickup drove down the embankment.

"Dealing with lots of stuck vehicles," Sheeks said.

It's not clear what happened here, but a popular neighborhood sledding spot saw a pickup skid out of control. Police helped an older man step by step, climb the hill to a patrol car that was barely visible.

Sheeks said, "Hard to see our red and blue lights on days like this, another thing we wouldn't have to deal with if people stay home."

Police say many calls could have been avoided, if people had heeded warnings.

Sheeks said, "We recommend everyone stay home if possible only go out in emergencies, then have a plan in case something does happen."

The storm packed a punch, but came later than expected. It started as drizzle but later dumped several inches of snow, as mother nature gets the last laugh.

Amy Solis said, "I was laughing when they canceled school because it wasn't doing anything (And now?) I'm like oh, shouldn't have doubted mother nature."

Grand Island street crews started working on residential streets, and were also sending salt trucks out.

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