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South-Central NE roads open, but still dangerous

Three killed in weather related crash near Hershey
View from StormChaser4: Road conditions on Burlington Ave. in Hastings December, 23, 2020...
View from StormChaser4: Road conditions on Burlington Ave. in Hastings December, 23, 2020 around 3:15 p.m.(KSNB Local4)
Published: Dec. 23, 2020 at 2:17 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 23, 2020 at 5:36 PM CST
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SOUTH CENTRAL NEBRASKA (KSNB) - Highways in South-Central Nebraska were re-opened late Wednesday afternoon, but driving on them was still dangerous.

Nebraska 511 reported that Interstate 80 west bound from Kearney to York was open, as was Highway 281 Grand Island-Hastings, Highway 30 Grand Island-Kearney, Highway 34 Grand Island-York and Highway 6 west of Hastings to Kenesaw. However, all of those roads were listed as snow-covered, with blowing and drifting snow, and occasional white-outs.

Local4 meteorologist Tim Jones reported that numerous cars were in the ditch on Highway 281 between Doniphan and the Rosedale Road. He also reported blowing snow across the highway and occasional white-outs.

The Nebraska state patrol late Wednesday reported that three people were killed in a two vehicle crash on east-bound I-80 about three miles east of the Hershey exit in western Nebraska. An east-bound GMC Yukon lost control,crossed the median and struck a west-bound semi. The driver and two passengers were dead at the scene. As of 5:00 Wednesday, state troopers had worked 140 weather related incidents, including 40 crashes and nearly 100 motorist assists.

Buffalo County Emergency manager Darrin Lewis told Local4 that rural roads in Buffalo County had some slick spots and drifting on east-west roads. He said visibility had improved, but there were still brief periods of white-out conditions. Highway 30 between Kearney and Shelton still had what Lewis called “troublesome areas.” City of Kearney street crews were back out as of 3:30 pm to work on highways and major streets in Kearney. Lewis said driving in Kearney was manageable but slick on the intersections. Lewis expected conditions to gradually improve by 6:00 PM.

Adams County Emergency management said condition were so bad at one point Wednesday that the county pulled it’s snowplows off the road. They were expected to return late Wednesday.

Kearney Police Captain Mike Young told Local4 that they are also advising people not to travel in these conditions. As of 2:30 this afternoon, KPD had responded to 10 non-injury crashes today and had 2 motorist assists. Vehicles have been having difficulty making it up some of the hills in town and all roadways are icy, snow covered, and icy. The City road crews have been working diligently since early Wednesday, however they have had to contend with very high winds and blowing snow causing white-out conditions.

The Buffalo County Sheriff’s office had responded to 4 non-injury accidents and 2 injury accidents today.

A worsening weather storm caused the National Weather Service to issue a blizzard warning for south-central Nebraska Wednesday afternoon.

Blizzard Warning for tri-cities until 6 p.m.
Blizzard Warning for tri-cities until 6 p.m.(KSNB Local4)

VIEW ACTIVE WEATHER ALERTS HERE.

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