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Winter Storm Warning, State of Emergency declared before Thursday snow arrives


MADISON, Wis. (WSAU) -- Governor Scott Walker has declared a state of emergency as another winter storm bears down on Wisconsin.

Walker made that declaration late Wednesday afternoon, as meteorologists predict up to a foot of snow in some areas. Central Wisconsin could see up to ten more inches of heavy, wet snow.

Tod Prichard is with Wisconsin Emergency Management. He says they will activate the Emergency Operations Center Thursday morning, and monitor the storm and coordinate responses from there. Prichard says this storm has the potential to cause a lot of problems.  “This one has every element that you can think of in a winter storm. It’s got heavy snowfall. It’s got the potential of freezing rain. It’s got the potential of thundersnow, which we rarely see in Wisconsin, but that’s a thunderstorm with snowfall, and it’s got the element of unpredictability.”

Meteorologist Tony Shumacher from WAOW-TV says we should expect a light wintry mix of precipitation Thursday morning, and then heavy snow and sleet in the late afternoon and evening hours. If the storm tracks as expected, Schumacher anticipates 3-6 inches of snow from Adams County to Shawano County, and from 6-10 inches of snow north of that. It’s possible for western Marathon County and points north to get over a foot of new snow.

There have been a few buildings with collapsed roofs in the past few days due to the weight of snow already there. Emergency Management officials and local fire departments have recommended checking your roof and removing as much snow as you safely can before the new storm strikes.

(Listen to our interview with Tod Pritchard on our website, here.)

ReadyWisconsin and the Department of Transportation are recommending the following precautions:

  • Limit travel.  Depending on conditions in your area it may be safer to limit, delay, or cancel your travel on Thursday.

  • If you must travel allow plenty of extra time for your trip.  Also keep at least a half tank of gas in your vehicle and inform friends and family of your travel plans and approximate arrival time.

  • Check the roads before you travel.  The Wisconsin Department of Transportation advises travelers check road conditions before leaving home by calling 5-1-1 or visiting www.511wi.gov.

  • Have an emergency winter weather survival kit in your vehicle.  Your kit should include water, snack food such as energy bars or raisins, a first aid kit, and booster cables.  If you have a cell phone make sure you have a power adapter.  You can find more kit tips athttp://readywisconsin.wi.gov.

  • Get supplies for your home. Make sure your home emergency kit is stocked with food that can be stored and prepared without electricity.  Also, make sure you have extra water, flashlights with extra batteries, and medications. For a complete list of kit items go to our website:http://readywisconsin.wi.gov/kit/GetKit.asp.

  • Stay informed. ReadyWisconsin will keep you posted on any emergencies that occur during the storm.  Follow ReadyWisconsin on Facebook (www.facebook.com/readywisconsin) or Twitter (www.twitter.com/readywisconsin) for updates.