Despite Sunday’s low temperatures of 22 degrees, Colfax County Emergency Management Director Mark Arps said there were no reports of major accidents caused by road conditions.
“Everything seemed normal,” said Arps, who is also the County Highway superintendent.
Amidst the 4 to 6 inches of snow and icy road conditions last week, Arps said there were people sliding on the roads but caused no major issues. He said the majority of these drivers are probably visitors trying to adapt to Nebraska weather conditions.
Arps said emergency situations during these times involve first responders and major accidents.
The Nebraska Department of Transportation officials, in a release, advised residents to check weather conditions before hitting the road and to make sure vehicles have at least half a tank. They also urged drivers to be cautious and courteous to those operating snowplows along roads.
Preparing oneself is just as important as preparing a vehicle for winter weather, NDOT officials said. People are advised to upkeep their vehicles, from making sure they receive a complete tune-up in the fall to checking tire pressures at least once a month.
When someone is trapped in a storm, the first advice NDOT stated is to not panic. In these situations, people are encouraged to remain in their vehicles and to avoid overexertion and exposure to the cold. People are also advised to crack open a window sheltered from the wind to keep fresh air in the vehicle, as well as run the engine sparingly to avoid contact with exhaust fumes and reduce the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning.
To avoid losing up to 60 percent of body heat through the head, people are advised to wear a hat.
They said vehicles should be traveling less than 30 mph as they approach plows and to never pass the equipment on the right because its wing plows extend beyond the truck itself.
The Nebraska State Patrol Highway Helpline is available 24 hours daily to motorists in need of assistance. Those seeking assistance are encouraged to dial *55 or call 911.
Schuyler residents can release a sigh of relieve because, Bryon Miller, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Valley, said there won’t be significant snowfall in the next seven days. However, temperatures will remain low and community members can expect occasional flurries.
The National Weather Service is predicting temperatures below 20 degrees but with sunny skies throughout the weekend and into early next week In fact, the probability for widespread hazardous weather in the area is low, according to its website.
“Road conditions would probably improve,” said Miller, noting the slight increase in temperatures and absent of snowfall in the next couple of days.
Natasya Ong is a reporter for the Schuyler Sun. Reach her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.