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Last week, Southeast Nebraska received the most snowfall recorded in a single day in decades- exceeding even the still-memorable blizzards of 2009. Most of northern District 1 received over one foot of snow on Monday. Social media christened the storm as “Snowmageddon” while roads became impassable.
Lincoln officially received 15 inches of snow from the storm, but the Legislature churned on with full-day committee hearings on both Monday and Tuesday. Being stranded in Lincoln for a few days offered me a first-hand view of our hard-working plow crews and the spirit of “Nebraska Nice.”
Our state and county maintenance crews worked around the clock from Monday morning onwards to clear roads. State troopers and local police responded to wrecks and conducted hundreds of motorist assists. For each person grumbling about the snow, there were a dozen others stepping up to help scoop driveways, dig out cars, and push stranded motorists through intersections.
Your own state senator was a recipient of this kindness. On Tuesday morning, my car became stuck at the corner of 14th and H Streets at the southwest corner of the Capitol. There were no cars or pedestrians around to provide an assist, so I spent ten minutes throwing my car into reverse and drive to break free. Thankfully, Senator Hughes, who serves as chair of the Executive Board, came walking by. When he was unable to push my car free, he called the cavalry by asking any other senators who were available to come help. Within two minutes, seven senators joined the group, with one even toting a snow shovel.
There’s a few jokes out there about how many politicians it would take to change a lightbulb, but now I know how many politicians it takes to push a car through a snowy intersection. We were quite a sight, but for all their efforts- no one asked me to vote for their bill or support them for a leadership election. Like everyone else, we were just neighbors helping each other get to work.
“Nebraska Nice” isn’t just a slogan- it’s a way of life in our state.
As always, I welcome your input on issues important to you. Follow along on my Facebook and Twitter pages, both entitled “Senator Julie Slama” for more updates, or contact me directly at Senator Julie Slama, District 1 State Capitol, PO Box 94604, Lincoln NE 68509-4604; telephone: 402-471-2733; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.