Gov. declares state of emergency in WI; extreme cold ahead - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Gov. declares state of emergency in WI; extreme cold ahead


MADISON (WKOW) --  The weekend's snow storm is expected to give way to dangerously cold temperatures Sunday evening and into Monday, leaving icy road conditions overnight.

The Governor declared a State of Emergency for all 72 counties across Wisconsin.

 The National Weather Service is reporting a decrease in snowfall intensities across parts of the state. Much of the snowfall is expected to taper off late this evening.

Wind chills are expected to hit minus 15 statewide.

Highs on Monday should vary from the single digits in the west to the low teens elsewhere. Temperatures are expected to creep back up Tuesday and Wednesday.

The weekend's snowstorm dumped some 22 inches of snow in areas of the state Saturday night into Sunday.

Meteorologist Jessica Brooks says Jackson County in western Wisconsin had a two-day total of almost 22 inches as of early Saturday. She says areas in Adams, Monroe and Taylor counties got about 21 inches.

The winter weather claimed the lives of two people Sunday.

A Chicago woman died after a fatal crash on I-39 near Milton.

The single-vehicle crash Sunday afternoon killed 21-year-old Alejandria Abaunza and left two other occupants with non-life-threatening injuries. Authorities say the driver lost control and slammed into trees.

A 79-year-old Woodville man was killed after a snowplow backed into him while he was snow-blowing his driveway Sunday.

A Wisconsin official says there were no other reports of crashes involving fatalities or serious injuries. Tod Pritchard of Wisconsin Emergency Management says most residents heeded warnings to stay off the road.

There was also a seven-vehicle injury crash in Jefferson County on Sunday afternoon. A Wisconsin State Patrol dispatcher says those injuries weren't believed to be serious.


MADISON (WKOW) -- Gov. Jim Doyle has declared a state of emergency in Wisconsin.

A major winter storm produced heavy snowfall and prompted blizzard warnings in some areas.

Doyle's office said the declaration released Saturday was precautionary. It applied to all 72 Wisconsin counties.

Tod Pritchard of Wisconsin Emergency Management says most residents seem to be heeding warnings to stay off the road, which has kept traffic volume low.

Authorities closed Highway 14 in Walworth County just east of Janesville and Highway 10 in Manitowoc County.

All other roads are open, including a 150-mile stretch of Interstate 94 between Hudson and Tomah, which was closed overnight due to winds that produced white-out conditions in some areas.

Around 2 PM Sunday, all lanes on I-94 Westbound near Johnson Creek, near mile marker 272, were blocked because of numerous runoffs and minor crashes with injuries. The WI State Patrol says law enforcement and emergency responders were at the scene. They're asking motorists to use alternate routes.

The Madison Metro bus service was canceled for Sunday. It's expected to start up again Monday morning.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation along with the State Patrol is reminding motorists that state highways remain in hazardous condition. They say while roads may appear clear in places, they may be covered with ice or ice packs.

Also, due to the dropping air and road temperatures the remedies used on the roads may not be as effective in keeping them clear.

Dangerous wind chills, and white-out conditions in open areas, along with the snow and ice covered roads will continue to make driving very difficult. WisDOT advises against travel on any Wisconsin highway through the remainder of the day, unless absolutely necessary.

To check the latest winter road conditions, call 5-1-1 or visit Dial 9-1-1- only for emergency situations.

The winter storm also left thousands of Wisconsin residents without power.

Local utilities say high winds and heavy snow knocked down power lines, and also made it hard for crews to reach problem areas.

According to Alliant Energy's web site, about 500 customers were without power in southern Wisconsin as of 2 PM.

Barry McNulty of We Energies says crews restored power to about 30,000 people in southeastern Wisconsin as of Friday night. He says another 9,000 were still without power late Saturday morning.

He says the outages were mainly in Washington and Dodge counties, with additional outages in Sheboygan and Ozaukee counties.

Wisconsin Public Service serves the northeastern part of the state. The utility's web site says about 6,100 customers were without power as of early Saturday afternoon. About half were in the Two Rivers area.

McNulty says sustained gusty winds were "causing havoc" to repair efforts.

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