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Gov. Walker declares state of emergency ahead of winter storm


MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has declared a state of emergency in anticipation of a major winter storm that's due to arrive overnight into Thursday.

“I issued this executive order to make sure Wisconsin is prepared for whatever this winter storm may bring,” Walker said in a news release.  “Mobilizing our state agency resources during this storm will ensure we leave nothing to chance when it comes to protecting the citizens of Wisconsin.”

The Wisconsin State Patrol and National Weather Service are urging people to avoid traveling in the storm.

Walker’s office says emergency operation centers will open at 8 p.m. Wednesday. At that time, the E.O.C. status will be set at level 3 (it is at level 4 under normal conditions).

Snow will start to accumulate mainly after midnight tonight with a possible 1 to 3 inches on the ground by Thursday morning. Snow will be heavy at times Thursday and most locations will see between 9 and 12 inches of snow by Friday morning.

North winds will also increase resulting in possible blizzard conditions for a time. Travel will be hazardous all day Thursday in Wisconsin as well as Iowa, Illinois and Michigan. Travel may even be impacted on Friday, although the snow accumulation will have ended.