Madison (WKOW) -- from State of Wisconsin: Several local, state and volunteer organizations tested their emergency plans during a winter storm tabletop exercise held Thursday, September 25, 2008 at the State Emergency Operations Center in Madison.
Brig. Gen. Don Dunbar, Adjutant General ordered the Wisconsin National Guard and Wisconsin Emergency Management to develop the exercise scenario following the state's response to the I-39/90 backup during the major winter storm on February 5-7, 2008.
The exercise was scheduled for June but was postponed due to flooding.
The scenario involved a major winter storm hitting the Eau Claire area a few days before Christmas.
In the exercise, roads and highways are packed with holiday travelers.
As the scenario progresses, heavy snow, poor visibility and icy roads cause numerous vehicle accidents and stranded motorists.
Over 500 vehicles were stopped on westbound I-94 near Menomonie.
Responders also dealt with power outages and bitter cold temperatures.
The exercise focused on key state and local emergency response coordination, critical decision making, public information and other actions necessary for protecting public health and safety during an incident involving an interruption to traffic on major roadways in the state.
Approximately 60 people participated in the exercise.
Agencies involved included:
Wisconsin National Guard
Wisconsin Emergency Management
Wisconsin State Patrol
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Wisconsin Department of Transportation
Wisconsin Department of Justice
Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection
Wisconsin Department of Health Services
State Lab of Hygiene
American Red Cross
Eau Claire County