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Omaha differs on ice preps from Sarpy County

Posted at 6:38 PM, Jan 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-13 19:38:25-05
The city is bracing for a wintry blast that could spread a sheet of ice across the Omaha area Sunday into Monday.
 
City staff across various departments will be all hands on deck as an ice storm could cripple the area late this weekend.
 
"With ice and freezing rain, it's everywhere immediately and slippery, at once," said Austin Rowser, Omaha streets superintendent. "When you have that scale, with very little time to get out and react to it, it becomes very difficult."
 
Mayor Jean Stothert Led a meeting Friday afternoon with leaders across city departments with their plans to tackle the weather.
 
That includes OPPD, street maintenance, transportation, fire and police - all working together.
 
"If the streets are bad, which they will be, if there's an ice storm, we're going to do everything we can to clear them as quick as we can," Stothert said. "You have to expect (roads) are going to be very, very slick. For people's safety, we want them to stay home and be as safe as possible."
 
While city maintenance is laying down brine and salt to combat the ice, Sarpy County is taking a different approach to clearing their roads.
 
"We have a two to one combination, gravel and salt which comes in real handy when we get into these SIDs," said Rod Ripley, Sarpy County highway supervisor. "We have traction there between storms. It doesn't just wash away or deplete it's always there. Some people are upset with this, yet when we get these situations they're very happy for it." 
 
People are taking the storm serious, hitting the store and stocking up in case they can't make it out Monday. 
 
"I think so, I'd like to hope so (laughter)," said Eileen Duncan, Ralston. "I don't know. Hopefully it's only going to be a day or two and I guess it depends on what kind of stuff it knocks out."
 
"My sister told me last night that things might be shut down around the city, she's a teacher, so I think she's hoping she doesn't go to work for a week, but I'm a little nervous," said Rachel Cruz, Omaha. "Everyone at the grocery store is stocking up."
 
OPPD will have hundreds of workers on standby in case power lines go down. 
 
City street maintenance workers will be on site for fast response. 
 
The city parks department will chip in 60 workers to help Monday if needed