Oct 28, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump rally in Omaha left hundreds stranded in the cold, waiting for buses

Trump's silhouette walks by a crowd

Supporters cheer as Trump leaves Eppley Airfield on Oct. 27 in Omaha, Nebraska. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Hundreds of supporters at President Trump's Omaha rally were stranded at Eppley Airfield on Tuesday as campaign buses took up to three hours to get people to their cars, the Omaha World-Herald reports.

Why it matters: Many people stood huddled together in temperatures as low as 33 degrees until at least midnight, in the Nebraska county reporting the most COVID cases amid a record-breaking state-wide spike. Police were seen giving aide to an elderly woman warming up in a police cruiser and a boy who received a blanket, per the World-Herald.

Parking for the event was full as of 6 p.m. local time, the Omaha police department tweeted on Tuesday — well before the rally began. "Shuttles will no longer be transporting people to the event. You will not be able to access the rally by foot, UBER, or any other means of transportation," the department said.

  • One Omaha police officer said they would "need at least 30 more buses" to get people out of the airfield, CNN's Jeff Zeleny tweeted after the rally.

What they're saying: The Trump campaign reportedly told Omaha-World Herald reporter Aaron Sanderford that they had "plenty of buses," but had "trouble getting them to people still waiting because traffic flow on the small, two-lane airport access road is limited to one direction."

  • "Because of the sheer size of the crowd, we deployed 40 shuttle buses instead of the normal 15, but local road closures and resulting congestion caused delays. We always strive to provide the best guest experience at our events and we care about their safety," Trump campaign spokesperson Samantha Zager said in an emailed statement.  
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