A rare occurrence.....Thursday snow squalls rapidly cutting visibility
BEATRICE – Thursday afternoon’s brief snow and blowing snow led to some minor vehicle accidents in Beatrice, as temperatures began to plunge.
Beatrice Police Department Director Jay Murphy says officers responded to four accidents during the mid-to-late afternoon hours. Police also assisted at least three motorists with weather-related problems.
Thursday afternoon, the National Weather Service issued a snow squall advisory for a fast-moving, brief period of intense, blowing snow in the Lincoln area…..which cut visibility to nearly zero at times.
Weather officials say such snow squall warnings are rare and associated with strong cold fronts. They often last less than an hour. Such snow squalls have been associated in the past with high speed, deadly highway crashes...due to sudden white-out conditions, abrupt visibility problems and icy road surfaces.
During such warnings, weather officials recommend not traveling through a snow squall, but instead….waiting it out.
Murphy says throughout recent days following two major bouts with snow and ice in Beatrice, there have been only a handful of cases where vehicles that had not been moved for more than a day, had to be towed.
Beatrice City ordinance requires vehicles to be moved within 24 hours following the end of the snow falling. The rule is intended to help plowing crews clear streets. City ordinance also requires sidewalks to be cleared, but Mayor Bob Morgan says the city understands that may not always be possible, following major snow events.
As for vehicles left for several days on city streets, surrounded by snow….police place orange tags on antennas or windshields and contact owners, asking them to move the vehicles. Murphy says citizens have done a good job complying with the local ordinance…and Mayor Morgan echoes that...saying the problem likely is attributed to only about five percent of vehicle owners.