UPDATE 11:00pm Saturday:
11:00 Central NDOT will begin moving the I-80 Westbound closure to Lexington MM 237 for the blizzard conditions and impassable roads in Western Nebraska, Eastern Colorado and Wyoming and travelers staging in West central Nebraska for the Blizzard to subside and roads to open.
Hwy 30 Westbound adjacent to I-80 will also be closed at Lexington to thru traffic to keep motorists from overwhelming the closure points in North Platte. Local travel is allowed if conditions remain acceptable.
Westbound Interstate 80 is closed at North Platte Mile Marker 179 and 177. US Highway 30 is also closed westbound out of North Platte. Local traffic only.
Accommodations full at Ogallala and Big Springs….
CDOT closed I-76 into Colorado
NDOT is RECOMMENDING NO TRAVEL on the remaining highways in the panhandle. Strong winds are creating blizzard conditions with near zero visibility at times. The driving surfaces are very slick and winds are extremely strong with gusts around 60 MPH. We do not anticipate opening the closed sections of roadway until sometime Sunday. Please stay home and be safe
As conditions & visibility improve our crews will head back out.
From our sister station KNEB Radio:
Outages are becoming more widespread as power lines are whipped by high winds today following freezing drizzle, fog and several inches of snow that hit the area Friday and overnight.
In Nebraska, NPPD is reporting 130 without power east of Gering, 21 east of Minatare, 30 near Bridgeport and 70 in the Oshkosh/Lisco area, with scattered outages in Scottsbluff. Wheat Belt reports the loss of up to 70 poles, PREMA is indicating outages North of Scottsbluff, east of Lakeside, and in the Arthur and Hyannis areas. Roosevelt Public Power is reporting power loss in the Morrill area, while Chimney Rock PPD says they’re experiencing several outage areas.
Several utilities have said for safety of repair crews, those still in the field are being called in before sundown, as the weather conditions make repairs dangerous and nearly impossible. Officials say some customers could be without service for several days.
In certain cases, power companies have indicated problems stemming from high-voltage transmission lines that carry power supplied by WAPA, the Western Area Power Administration.
From Wheat Belt PPD:
We have asked for additional line crews from Dawson PPD in Lexington and Midwest Electric in Grant to help us in the restoration process. They will be arriving in the morning, pending the roads opening. Our linemen, along with these additional Linemen and their equipment will hopefully help us get things put back together tomorrow. We are continuing to experience high winds which will likely lead to additional damage and outages throughout the night. Please continue to call your outages and any noticed damage into our call center at 1-800-261-7114 so we have accurate and total information to help us continue to plan our restorations.