MADISON (WKOW) — As a major winter storm descends on southern Wisconsin, officials in Madison are preparing for a long night.
Dane County officials say it’s all hands on deck to make sure the roads are safe overnight, with up to 10 inches anticipated through Wednesday morning.
“We’re expecting the biggest winter event in probably the past two years and this comes on the heels of a snow event just a couple of days ago,” said County Executive Joe Parisi.
County highway plow drivers were out starting early Tuesday morning. They were bringing the roads to get them ready before the snow started falling.
Highway Commissioner Jerry Mandli says drivers need to be careful near the plows, for everyone’s well-being.
“People will try to pass them and, generally, the conditions are not better in front of that snowplow, so if you can have the patience and let them do their job,” he said. “They take it very seriously, what they do on the routes. They want to make sure it’s safe for everyone to travel on, so if you can give them the room to get their job done they certainly appreciate that.”
With the bitter cold and winds expected after the storm is over, the crews won’t stop when the snow stops falling.
“Our plow drivers will remain out to deal with drifting that will occur after the snow ends, especially in the rural parts of the county,” Parisi said.
The Madison streets department will also have 150 vehicles out clearing city streets.
Dane County will have extra staff in the 911 center, just in case. Emergency Management Director Charles Tubbs says it’s important for the general public to be extra careful in these conditions.
“Make sure their vehicles are in good working condition, they have warm clothing, food, their phones are charged, they are letting people know when they’re going to arrive and if they’re going to be late,” he said.
If you get in a crash or see someone else who is in trouble on the roads, officials do not recommend getting out of the car to check out damage or help someone else. You put yourself at risk of being hit by an oncoming vehicle that may lose control.
Closures are possible in the morning, so schools and businesses should closely monitor conditions.
“Try to know your customers, look out for them and really pay attention to what’s going on,” said Tubbs.
It’s expected to be a rough morning commute. Madison Metro buses will be in service, but will likely be running behind. City officials say if you’re heading anywhere, you should make sure your destination is open first.
The snow is expected to be heavy and wet, so it will be difficult to shovel. Officials ask people to check on their neighbors to make sure everyone is okay during the storm.
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