- Associated Press - Friday, January 18, 2019

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - A passenger plane slid off an icy runway at Omaha’s airport on Friday as freezing drizzle coated thoroughfares across much of the state ahead of expected snow and high winds.

Eppley Airfield officials said via Twitter that no one was injured when the Southwest Airlines plane from Las Vegas went off the end of the runway after landing just after 2 p.m. Friday. The incident led authorities to close the airport Friday afternoon and suspend all flights for more than two hours.

“Airport fire crews are working with Southwest to deplane the passengers and take them to the terminal,” the airport’s Twitter account read.

The airport reopened shortly before 5 p.m., but airport officials warned that most flights would continue to be delayed.

Freezing drizzle and mist cut visibility and slicked roads and sidewalks in much of the eastern half of Nebraska on Friday as residents prepared for a second straight weekend of harsh winter weather.

The National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory for much of the state, with snow expected by Friday evening into Saturday. The service had expected snowfall of more than 7 inches (18 centimeters) in some areas, but adjusted that downward by Friday afternoon to 1-to-3 inches (2.5-to-7.5 centimeters).

Of more concern were high winds of up to 30 mph (50 kph) expected late Friday and into Saturday that could whip up snow, cutting visibility and pushing high-profile vehicles off slick roads. Artic air is expected to move into the state behind the storm, sending wind chills to as low as 20 below zero on Saturday and Sunday.

Schools in the Omaha area canceled or cut classes short Friday in anticipation of the storm.

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