MADISON (WKOW) -- Madison streets crews will be out through the night keeping roads salted as freezing rains begin to fall.
The Streets Division is sending out 32 salt trucks by 8 p.m. Saturday night because of freezing rain and higher than normal traffic on the roads.
Good news is they were able to set up a good base of salt before the snow started flying.
"Bad news is we're looking at potentially an inch, inch and a half an hour during the height of the storm and that's going to slow us down considerably," Madison Streets Division Spokesman George Dreckmann says.
Officials are asking drivers to be extra cautious especially on intersections, hills and bridges.
Crews coming in Saturday night will remain out on the streets through Sunday morning, concentrating on main streets, bus routes and direct routes to schools and hospitals.
Authorities are asking people to stay off the roads Sunday morning. If driving is required, plan to leave extra early because residential streets are expected to be snow-covered.
The city has not declared a snow emergency for Saturday night, but is likely to call one for Sunday and Monday evenings. Visit the city's website for more information.
Airport officials are also busy cleaning up streets, sidewalks and runways. Dozens of employees will work through Sunday night using liquid de-icer and a specially designed truck to test the braking distance on all of their runways.
"Everything from the runways to the parking lots to the side walks, we have a lot of acreage to cover so it takes a lot of people to keep that moving," Dane County Regional Airport Communications Director Brent McHenry says.
Several travelers at the airport were relieved to beat the storm. Carolyn Pool dealt with several delays in Denver, but at least she beat the snow.
"There was so much fog we could not see the planes that were at the gates from the windows of the airport. Most of the planes were diverted to airports that didn't have fog," Pool says.
Olivia Koepke is also happy her sister flew in before the bad weather hit.
"Last year they actually had to take a bus from Chicago to see out family in Steven's Point for Christmas. We're lucky this year that it's hitting us after, but there's a lot of people that will be affected," Koepke says.
Airport officials say all three major airlines in Dane County including American, United and Delta are all issuing free waivers to their customers who wish to change their flights to avoid the storm. Officials urge travelers to check their website frequently to for updated cancellations.
Their website can be found at: http://www.msnairport.com/
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