MADISON, Wis. – A winter storm is expected to impact west central Wisconsin Friday afternoon and into the weekend, bringing with it the possibility of heavy snowfall that could disrupt travel across the region. ReadyWisconsin is encouraging those who live or plan to travel through the area to act now to remain safe.
The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued Winter Storm Warnings for several counties in the west central part of the state and in neighboring Minnesota through midday Saturday. The NWS says the region could see 6-12 inches of snow, with higher snowfall totals possible in some areas. The snow is expected to start falling on Friday and continue into the overnight hours, with snowfall rates of 1-3 inches an hour possible at times. The storm could greatly impact afternoon travel, reducing visibility and leaving roads covered in snow.
To help prepare, ReadyWisconsin encourages people to take the following actions:
- Make sure you have fully stocked emergency kits in your home and your vehicle. Home kits should include items like non-perishable food, fresh water, and batteries. Vehicle kits should also have extra hats and gloves, blankets, an ice scraper, snow shovel, and kitty litter or sand to give you traction in case you get stuck in the snow. Find tips on what to include in your kit at https://readywisconsin.wi.gov/make-a-kit/
- To help protect yourself in your vehicle, remain distraction-free while driving and adjust your speed for current conditions. Check travel conditions for most major roadways in the state before you leave home by using 511 Wisconsin. This information, along with live traffic cameras and traffic alerts, is accessible through the free 511WI mobile app, on Twitter, or the mobile-friendly site 511wi.gov.
- If you get stuck while traveling, remain with your vehicle if it’s safe to do so and contact 9-1-1. Give police a description of your location and wait for help to arrive.
- Stay informed about current and expected weather conditions by following your local National Weather Service office and other trusted local sources for updates. Get a NOAA All-Hazards Weather Radio and use it to get updates.
- After the snow ends, give road crews room to work. In addition to clearing snow from driveways and walkways, check external vents on your home for blockages. If you have a fire hydrant on your property, clear the snow so there’s at least three feet of open space around it.
For more tips on getting ready for winter weather, visit the ReadyWisconsin website at https://readywisconsin.wi.gov/.You can also follow ReadyWisconsin on Facebook and Twitter for tips throughout the winter months and updates on dangerous weather conditions.