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Omaha’s warm temperatures after heavy snow raises concerns of rapid melting

Published: Feb. 22, 2021 at 3:42 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Officials from Omaha Public Works say they’re adding more on-call evening staff to handle calls from the public as the snow begins to melt and water begins to pond up on the city streets.

Officials are hoping the weather cooperates and all of the snow melts slowly.

Omaha conducted a major snow removal operation downtown two years ago.

“This is a little different than two years ago, remember a couple of years ago, when we were all worried about all that flooding coming and everything?” said Jim Theiler of Omaha Public Work

Omaha will count on the sun and warm temperatures to slowly melt the mountains of snow this year. Weather experts say the forecast is working in the city’s favor right now.

“I think we’re going to have four to maybe five complete pretty good days of just a slow melting. A lot of sunlight to hopefully melt away a good portion of this at a nice slow pace,” said 6 News Meteorologist Rusty Lord.

After one day of melting, there are already pools of water that some Omaha drivers are dealing with.

Don Epperson from Dj’s Used Cars & Trucks has sold used cars on the corner of 60th and Center for over 20 years. He says after heavy rain or a lot of melting snow, it’s always like this.

“It all pools up and as the cars drive by at 50 miles an hour. It causes a big shower for us and our vehicles,” said Epperson.

Water is also beginning to pool in some residential areas. City officials say it would be nice if people who can, would help out in neighborhoods.

“If that resident just has the ability to go out there themselves with a shovel. While they’re clearing an area of where they’re going to be putting their cars or clearing an area around those fire hydrants. Just take a few extra minutes and clear that area in your neighborhood,” said Theiler.

More water could pool up as it tries to make its way to snow blocked storm drains.

Omaha city officials say if residents see an area that looks like it needs help with drainage, call the mayor’s hotline at 402-444-5555 or the Sewer Maintenance Desk at 402-444-5332.

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