By: Leah Uko
OMAHA (KPTM) – Declaring a Snow Emergency Wednesday morning, Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle urged businesses to stagger the times they let employees go home on Thursday.
Suttle said that would cut back congestion on area roads and make it easier for plow drivers.
Many businesses got the memo and did not waste a minute putting a plan into action.
People wanting to avoid an anticipated pile up Thursday afternoon headed to the Walgreens store on 30th and Dodge streets.
"I'm kind of used to the snow," Tiffaneigh Horton said. "Maybe not this much snow. Usually it doesn't hit this hard."
The last blizzard, Horton said made her late to work.
"But we made it through; it wasn't as bad as it's supposed to be tomorrow."
So she bought another shovel and also will not drive home from work at Walgreens Thursday after the storm hits.
"I'm going to come in and help unload and then I might even pick her up," the store's manager Mike Gladson said.
Gladson scheduled around 20 employees to work Thursday during either the 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. shift of 4:30 p.m. to midnight shift. Both shifts, he said, will most likely allow staff to avoid the snowfall.
"We just talk about it with everyone on their shifts," Gladson continued. "It's Nebraska so we're pretty good at it for this many years."
The store was mostly preparing to clear inventory, which customers helped with.
People stocked up on shovels, ice scrapers, bread, liquor and milk that were being sold at lower prices than usual.
"I don't want to be in the storm for two or three days or whatever and not have milk!" Harry Young, who usually buys his milk at the end of the month said. "I got to have that cereal, Life cereal and all that stuff I eat you know?"
The pharmacy section was also busy. Staff aid they saw a 25 percent increase in patients coming in to get their prescriptions filled.
Anthony Gipson got a remind text message to come in and refill his medicine. He said he usually procrastinates.
"But I'm here today! It took a little storm that's like—12 inches to get me going!" Gipson said.
While the panic preparation may have caused traffic in the store on Wednesday, people like Horton—who have to work Thursday—did her part on minimizing hiccups expected to be on the roads.
"It's really up to whether the snow plows come through the residential streets. I can't shovel four blocks worth of snow myself."
She hopes the city will too.
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