MADISON, Neb. -- The roads in northeast Nebraska were still largely closed Monday morning, and that kept a lot of folks home from work. 

But the decision by some to stay home has drawn a sharp response from a federal lawmaker. 

U.S. Congressman Mike Flood sent a letter to U.S. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack Monday morning, after receiving reports that USDA inspectors failed to show Monday at Tyson's pork production plant in Madison. 

Flood called their absences "unacceptable," even after taking to X over the weekend to tell Nebraskans to avoid traveling. 

But in his letter, Flood said he considers food safety inspection service workers essential employees, and that without them plants shut down. 

“I am writing in response to troubling reports that United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) inspectors are not reporting to work at the Tyson Foods Pork Plant in Madison, Nebraska. Let me be clear, this is unacceptable and must be remedied immediately,” wrote Congressman Flood in his letter. “If our communities can show up to work, the USDA can too. Our pork producers are ready and waiting; our plant wants to operate; the USDA must step up to the plate and fulfill its mission to serve rural America.”

Roads were still dicey in northeast Nebraska Monday morning, with Highway 32 considered impassable heading west out of Madison. 

A copy of the Flood's letter:

Mike Flood is the founder and an owner of Flood Communications and News Channel Nebraska.