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Snow plow drivers deal with the aftermath of storm

4 inches of snow fell in some parts of the metro, impacting roads and drivers overnight and into the morning. Snow plow drivers explain how they coped with the storm and how they dealt with the aftermath.
Posted at 11:50 AM, Dec 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-13 12:50:56-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — As Nebraska and Iowa face another round of winter, snow plow drivers want to make it clear: Drive slow and be patient.

Jim Laughlin with the Nebraska Department of Transportation called this storm "challenging."

"When the interstate started getting cleaned up, the ramps were still slushy, people would go to exit at full speed and not realize the ramp is still slushy," Laughlin said.

Laughlin estimates there were 50-60 accidents in the Omaha area. Most of them happened in the morning on I-80, 480 and 680. Roughly 40 snow plow drivers worked from night until the afternoon, plowing on 12-hour shifts. One of those drivers is Tim Meehan, who trained five new people.

"It was difficult initially, but then, they kind of calmed down because they were all nervous, who wouldn't be?" Meehan said. "First time you get in a big truck like that."

Meehan admits the most challenging issue about this round of snow were the number of accidents.

"Some were in our plowing lanes, some were in the shoulder, we have to move over and slow down for them," Meehan said. "It makes it a little more difficult to push the snow off the road."

The experienced snow plow driver says practicing patience is key when it comes to keeping the roads safe and secure.

"Over my ten years, a lot of the traffic I noticed is not patient, they want the roads clear but they don't want us in their way, they don't slow down enough to give us room to do our job and that's usually where I see the most accidents," Meehan said.

There's still the potential for slick spots as temperatures drip, so it's important to watch for melts and refreezes.