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Snow emergency decision

Why some areas decided against a snow emergency
Posted at 5:50 PM, Feb 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-25 19:32:45-05

With snow piled up around the city, some people are wondering why Omaha didn't call for a snow emergency. Well city maintenance says low compliance rates along with the fact that it can sometimes actually slow them down, well that's part of the reasoning. Their decision had a few other counties following suit, including Sarpy county.

Sarpy county engineer Denny Wilson explains how coming across cars parked on the street during a snow emergency can actually slow down crews.

"Because of the vehicles, making sure they're getting ticketed, the locations are correct, we have to call in obviously to dispatch, they have to make the calls then to the sheriff's office. And of course it ties up our law enforcement vehicles as well," he says.

If a snow emergency isn't in effect, crews can just plow around vehicles on the streets and keep going.

While this might be faster at the time for crews, it can frustrate neighbors, like Goodie Goodman, on those streets.

"Being plowed properly is what i like to see, of course. but, you know, it's no parking spots now because of the way they had to plow it," explains Goodman.

Even if there had been a snow emergency declared, Goodman thinks his neighbors still would have left their cars parked in the street.

Wilson agrees, saying maybe 20 percent of vehicles will be moved off of streets during a snow emergency.

"It is always hit and miss. There'll be some areas where you might have two vehicles in the area and one vehicle moves, the other doesn't," adds Wilson.

This can be frustrating for city crews, but is less of a problem for roads out in the country, where Sarpy county can use their snow blower that shoots snow from the road into nearby fields.

For now, the city and surrounding areas will continue to clean up as best as they can.