Snow creates slick roads in Nebraska and Iowa

OMAHA, Neb. – Snow blanketed most of eastern Nebraska and Iowa this weekend, creating slick driving conditions and ensuring a cold start to the work week.

The mostly light snow began falling in Nebraska on Saturday evening and continued through Sunday as the storm moved into Iowa. Most areas received 2 to 4 inches of snow, but around Lincoln and Seward nearly 6 inches of snow fell.

Numerous accidents were reported because of the slick driving conditions Sunday, and sections of major highways in Iowa and Nebraska had to be closed for periods while accidents were cleared. But few serious injuries were reported.

“(Drivers) need to get back into their winter driving habits,” Sgt. Scott Bright of the Iowa State Patrol said. Drivers should practice good breaking distance and drive slower to make sure there is enough space between cars.

A section of Interstate 80 in Des Moines was closed for more than an hour Sunday morning because of a 20-car pileup. But officials were about to reopen the highway shortly before noon.

Southbound Interstate 29 also closed in Sioux City for a time around midday Sunday because an accident was blocking the lanes.

Near northwest Lincoln, officials had to close a three-mile section of Interstate 80 Sunday morning because of multiple accidents, including two semitrailer trucks that leaked fuel. The interstate there reopened shortly before 1 p.m.

But the snow didn’t deter runners in a 5K Jingle Bell Run in Lincoln’s Antelope Park on Sunday. Most of the 180 people registered to participate showed up, and Robert Borer, 54, won the race despite running without a shirt.

“I’m as warm as I can be,” said Borer, who wore a hat and gloves with his running shorts.

The National Weather Service said the wind is expected to pick up once the snow stops. That could cause additional travel problems later Sunday as visibility is reduced by blowing snow, and wind chills could fall to 20 to 25 degrees below zero overnight and early Monday.