UPDATE: Gov. Walker declares state of emergency - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Gov. Walker declares state of emergency

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Governor Scott Walker (R-Wisconsin) has issued an Executive Order declaring a State of Emergency, ahead of an expected winter storm.

Its been a relatively snow-free first-term for Governor Walker, dealing with just one previous major winter storm since first being elected.

"We did this well in February of 2011, learning from mistakes made in the past where they didn't have enough people positioned.  So, from storm crews out there on county trunk roads, to DOT staff out, wardens in the DNR on snowmobiles and others, we're gonna be fully prepared," said Gov. Walker.

The National Guard is also mobilizing to respond to the storm, which could produce up to 16 inches of snow in some areas.

"Our hope is its not gonna be as big and bad as some predict, but for the next two days, from early today until midnight on the 21st on Friday, we'll continue to have a snow emergency so we have access to all of that and we'll be watching very closely," said Gov. Walker.

An important decision the Governor is expected to make tonight is whether to close any state facilities on Thursday.

"We're gonna have a call at eight o'clock tonight with our team to see where we're at to make a decision before early tomorrow morning, because some folks get up pretty early," said Gov. Walker.

The Governor says its simply not worth opening for business if it creates a hazardous situation.

"And the real reason for doing that would be if we thought there was a safety risk for employees and for people in the public going to state facilities," said Gov. Walker.  "Its not there yet, but we're prepared for that if we need to."

Governor Walker says he will likely not be at the Emergency Operations Center, but will be in constant phone contact with officials from the various state agencies.

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has issued an Executive Order declaring a State of Emergency, ahead of an expected winter storm. 

The 27 StormTrack team is forecasting heavy snow and strong winds in the storm, expected to begin late Wednesday night and continue throughout Thursday.

You can see our complete 27 StormTrack forecast here.

The Executive Order will ready Wisconsin Emergency Management, the Wisconsin National Guard, State Patrol and other Wisconsin state agencies.

"I issued this executive order to make sure Wisconsin is prepared for whatever this winter storm may bring," Governor Walker said in a statement released by his office.  "Mobilizing our state agency resources during this storm will ensure we leave nothing to chance when it comes to protecting the citizens of Wisconsin."
 
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