During Saturday's blizzard, the City of Omaha did not call a snow emergency.Mayor Jean Stothert was a guest on NewsRadio 1110 KFAB's Chris Baker Show and cleared up some confusion as to why.
Mayor Stothert says, "According to our policy, it is not that effective.Basically it only applies on streets east of 72nd Street.On an odd day you park on the odd side of the street.On an even day, you park on the even side of the street.The compliance is very poor, only 10 to 20 percent.We ticket those cars but we have to tow them to get them moved.The reason I didn't is it really delays the operation.Right now we go down the middle of the street to clear it so people can move."Mayor Stothert would like to re-think that policy and perhaps do what other city's do and say no parking on the street during a snow emergency.
There has been a rumor circulating that the city has run out of salt.Mayor Stothert says that is far from fact.She says the city currently has 5,000 tons of salt on hand and deliveries are made five days a week.The city has not run out of salt and will not in the future.
Omaha snow plows should complete their main and secondary street operations by Wednesday morning. When that is complete, Omaha policy states property owners have 24 hours to clear their sidewalks.If they don't and the city gets a complaint, city workers will come out and clean the walks but then bill the property owner.
Mayor Stothert says many homeowners have expressed frustration that after they clean their driveway a snow plow comes through and piles up snow at the entrance.She says, "We have about 150,000 households in the city of Omaha.If those plows would stop at everyone's driveway and plow out the end of the driveway, it would take us to June to get this done.It is unfortunate but it happens."She says Omaha doesn't have the manpower or the time to clear everyone's driveway.
And there may no rest for the plow drivers.Snow is in the forecast for Friday and again on Sunday.