Snow, wind make for difficult driving conditions; some places in southeastern Nebraska receive more than 8 inches
Blowing snow caused several accidents along Interstate 80 on Sunday morning as a storm system moved through the area.
At about 8:30 a.m. near Waverly, a westbound semi slid off the road, according to a Nebraska State Patrol press release. Shortly after, the driver of a second semi lost control and ran into the first semi. The driver of the second truck was taken to Bryan West Campus with unknown injuries, and the driver of the first semi was uninjured.
The state patrol closed a portion of westbound I-80 from mile marker 426 to 409 for more than two hours due to the semi accident and several other accidents along that stretch of the interstate.
By Sunday evening, troopers with the state patrol had responded to about 100 weather-related incidents since midnight, including 20 crashes and more than 70 instances of vehicles sliding off the road.
There also was a serious accident on Highway 71 later in the day between Scottsbluff and I-80. A northbound 2005 Chevrolet Equinox drove off the road and rolled through the snow-packed median and southbound lanes. The driver was life-flighted to a local hospital with serious injuries, while the three passengers, all minors, were transported to the hospital with less serious injuries.
Though snow accumulation was less than three inches in Lincoln, according to reports given to the National Weather Service, winds gusting up to 40 mph reduced visibility to zero at some points along roads and highways in the area.
As of Sunday evening, Lincoln city officials said most arterial streets and bus routes had been cleared, but warned drivers to use caution during the Monday commute as patches of ice were likely to form overnight due to temperatures in the mid-teens.
According to Brian Smith, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in Valley, the heaviest snowfall hit southeastern Nebraska and southwest Iowa. Observers in Tecumseh were reporting 9 inches of snow, while Auburn reported 8 inches.