By Carolyn Lee
The Imperial Republican
Despite receiving 6 inches of snow on New Years weekend, businesses in Imperial kept open as usual, and drivers were cautious.
The Chase County Sheriff’s Department reported only one accident over the snowy weekend. That involved a vehicle and a railroad crossing arm in Wauneta.
“It was a very quiet weekend. It was pleasantly surprising,” said dispatcher Chuck Eberhardt.
Imperial Police Sgt. Rob Browning called it an uneventful weekend, with no accidents reported.
For New Years Eve revelers, the three main restaurants in the area saw good business.
Trustee Jim Sorge of the Imperial Eagles Club said about 70 dinners were served. “That’s more than what we expected,” he said. “I don’t have any idea what the norm is,” he said of New Years Eve, but “The snow didn’t slow down anyone.”
Donna Werkele at Enders Lake Golf Course said she had expected to serve about 60 people. Instead, about 120 enjoyed a meal at the restaurant. “We really had a good night, considering the way the weather was,” she noted.
Werkele said attendance was down a bit but not in a major way.
Lisa Bremer of Brickstone Grille & Sports Bar said the snowstorm probably brought in more customers, if anything, as people wanted to stay in town.
“We ran out of pretty much everything on the buffet by 8:30 p.m.,” she noted.
The bar was packed, and “That was a good problem to have,” she added.
The weather didn’t seem to have much of an impact on post-Christmas shoppers.
Jeri Markee of The Added Touch said the snow didn’t hamper business. “Shopping isn’t a big thing for us on New Years Eve day anyway,” she said. “We weren’t down or up from past years” as far as sales were concerned.
Fine Things Jewelry and Gifts was closed on New Years Eve day, so owner Merrilyn Leibbrandt said the snow didn’t impact her business.
“We were busy before that and prior to that,” she added of post-Christmas customers.
Employees at Adams Drug really didn’t see much of a drop in traffic due to the weather. It typically isn’t busy on New Years Eve day for gift buying, and people picked up their prescriptions prior to the end of the year.
The City of Imperial didn’t plow the streets on Friday. The Nebraska Department of Roads plowed highway driving lanes, leaving piles of snow on Broadway, which customers had to wade through.
City Clerk/Administrator Jo Leyland said Public Works Director Pat Davison wanted to see if there was much traffic on the roads Friday, adding that it was better to wait until Saturday to plow.
“Pat said that if you don’t get the curbs (along Broadway) in the middle of the night or real, real early in the morning, you can’t plow because of parked cars,” she explained.
Leyland added that by Friday morning there wasn’t enough snow to warrant plowing, so the decision was made to wait until Saturday.
She said her office has received some complaints about the unplowed streets on Friday.
Davison said he had heard of reports of pipes leaking in personal residences. “That had nothing to do with us,” he said.
Meteorologist Shawn Jacobs of the National Weather Service in North Platte said Imperial received 6 inches of snowfall on Friday.
Lee Bird Field in North Platte, where the Weather Service is located, received 7.4 inches of snow, while 5 inches was recorded in North Platte.
Jacobs said most of the snowfall occurred from the southwest to northeast directin from Garden County to Boyd County.
A total of 10.5 inches was recorded northeast of Oshkosh, with 10 inches reported at Mullen.