A blizzard warning has been issued in the area due to the snow and high wind gusts predicted the next two days, according to the National Weather Service of Omaha/Valley.
Antelope and Knox counties are included in the blizzard warning, which remains in effect from 1 a.m. Thursday to 7 p.m. Friday. The NWS predicts total snow accumulations of 3 to 11 inches and ice accumulations of around .1 inch with winds gusting as high as 40 mph, leading to whiteout conditions and making travel dangerous.
"Travel could be very difficult," the NWS states. "Patchy blowing snow could significantly reduce visibility. The hazardous conditions could impact the morning or evening commute."
For the latest road conditions, call 5 1 1.
A winter storm watch has been issued and Northeast Nebraska may be in for some heavy snow on Thursday, according to the National Weather Service.
The National Weather Service cautions that blizzard conditions are possible and snow accumulations of up 10 inches are possible in Antelope, Knox and Cedar counties. This winter storm watch is in effect from Wednesday evening through Friday morning.
"A thrust of cold air from the north will initiate precipitation change from rain to snow across northeast Nebraska late Wednesday evening," the weather service states. "As of now it appears the the bulk of snow accumulations will occur over Thursday through Thursday night. In addition to this, northwest winds are expected to gusts around 45 mph, resulting near white out conditions Thursday afternoon and evening."
In addition, the weather service warns that "travel could be very difficult to impossible."
"Areas of blowing snow could significantly reduce visibility. The hazardous conditions could impact the morning or evening commute. Gusty winds could bring down tree branches."
The Antelope County Emergency Manager and Road Superintendent are issuing a travel warning.
With recent rain, the roads have deteriorated, some to the point of impassable. They are asking for travel to be limited or alternative routes be chosen if possible.
They have received several calls of vehicles stuck and needing assistance. The weather will dictate the response of the road department to repair new damage and continue with flood damage.
The Antelope County Emergency Manager and Road Superintendent thank you for your cooperation.
Rural Antelope County residents wondering about their mail can rest assured knowing postal employees are delivering to every location they can.
"Postal employees are making deliveries on open roads," said Postmaster Nick Ramold on Tuesday. "If a road is closed, we can't make those deliveries, but we are traveling on roads that are deemed safe to make deliveries."
Ramold is based in Neligh but works with the post offices in Orchard, Royal, Clearwater and Oakdale. Ramold is working with emergency officials to not only ensure mail is delivered to most of the county, but also to keep his drivers safe.
School won't be in session until at least “two to three more days” in Antelope County thanks to dangerous rural road conditions.
Local school administrators met with emergency management officials Sunday afternoon at the Antelope County Law Enforcement Center to discuss the rural roads situation. Antelope County Emergency Manager Bob Moore advised school administrators “to stand down with opening up and give us at least until Wednesday.”
Neligh-Oakdale Superintendent Scott Gregory asked for clarification, "You're saying no school Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and to assess possibly a Thursday start."
County Road Superintendent Casey Dittrich said that is the county's recommendation, which concurred with what was said earlier by those in attendance, including Mike Mortensen, deputy director of Antelope County Emergency Management, and Commissioner Charlie Henery.
School officials from Clearwater, Orchard, Neligh-Oakdale, St. Boniface/Pope John, Elgin and Elkhorn Valley were all in attendance, as was Neligh Postmaster Nick Ramold. Multiple law enforcement from the Antelope County Sheriff's Department and Neligh Police Department were also present.
All of the administrators said they had no issues with calling off school until the roads were deemed safe.
Anyone with questions regarding school closures should contact their respective superintendent, not the county road superintendent, who is handling the road situation.
Antelope County Emergency Manager Bob Moore said the Elkhorn River ice jam located east of the Singing Bridge and 519 Bridge between Clearwater and Neligh has broken apart and water has reached its cresting point in Clearwater.
"There was an 18-inch water surge that followed the jam," Moore said Saturday afternoon while monitoring the Highway 275 bridge between Neligh and Oakdale. "We can see ice chunks going through occasionally and the river has risen a bit, but it looks like the jam has made it safely through."
Moore said Clearwater and other places downstream along the river will see water receding soon.
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