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Many Highway Closures Across The Panhandle Already; Officials Recommend No Travel

    Many of the highways across the Panhandle have been closed by heavy snow, low visibility because of falling or blowing snow, or both. The list includes:

  • Hwy 385 from Chadron to Alliance 
  • Hwy 29 from Harrison to Mitchell 
  • Hwy 87 from the South Dakota State line to Alliance 
  • Hwy 250 from Rushville to Hwy 2
  • Hwy 27 from South Dakota State line to Hwy 2 
  • Hwy 71 from Crawford to the Colorado State line
  • I-80 eastbound from the Wyoming State line to Big Springs
  • Hwy 2 west of Hemingford. 
  • Hwy 88 from Bridgeport to the Wyoming State line 
  • Hwy 385 from Colorado State line to Chappell 

State and local officials are advising no travel, even in areas where roads remain open. Nebraska Dept of Transportation Director John Selmer says snowplows are doing their best to keep up with the weather, but warns they will be called back if conditions are too dangerous. 

        Nebraska State Patrol Superintendent John Bolduc says that before making a decision to try to drive somewhere, motorists should check the weather and conditions by going online to 511.nebraska.gov.

       Most of that same information is available by phone at 511 or with the Nebraska 511 smartphone app. 

      Bolduc and Selmer also suggest plows.nebraska.gov, which has real time video from the cabs of NDOT snowplows, although they remind motorists that conditions are often worse than they appear on camera. 

       They also say that if you decide you must drive out of town, be prepared with warm clothing, water and food with a winter weather survival kit containing other basic items also advised. 

       They say to be sure to travel only on well-established routes and to notify someone when you are leaving for your destination. If trouble should strike, the NSP Highway Helpline with a live operator is available 24/7 at *55 or 800-525-5555.

      As for dealing with snowplows, Bolduc and Selmer say to slow down and leave plenty of distance as you approach one.

      It’s against the law in Nebraska to be closer than 100-feet to a plow, truck, or grader that is plowing snow, spreading salt or sand, or displaying a flashing amber or blue light.

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