State emergency officials, road crews and utility workers are among those out working hard today while most Wisconsinites are being urged to stay home. Wisconsin Emergency Operations Center spokesman Mike Goetzman said crews are doing what they can to clear roads but the snow keeps coming.
Mike Goetzmann (:20)
Goetzmann said, as of this morning, they were not aware of any road fatalities. WRN received reports of jack-knifed semi trucks in Wisconsin, including three on U.S. Highway 10 overnight in the Waupaca area.
The State Patrol said heavy snow made ramps impassable on I-94 east of Madison leaving 300 vehicles stranded around 5:30 this morning. Nearby Oregon received the most snow in the state around that time with 18 inches.
Up-to-date traveler information is available from the state DOT by calling 511 or logging onto http://www.511wi.gov/Web/
Utility crews battled downed power lines while tens of thousands of Wisconsinites experienced outages. We Energies spokesman Barry McNulty said, in the peak overnight, around 26,000 customers in Southeast Wisconsin had no electricity. McNulty said the work and challenges will continue.
Barry McNulty (:15)
Alliant Energy reported nearly 8,000 customers in Dane and Rock Counties without power at one point. Some Madison Gas and Electric subscribers were affected as well.
Meanwhile Governor Doyle has declared a state of emergency which means he can access resources from the Wisconsin National Guard. Doyle has also closed state offices and UW campuses. However, UW-Milwaukee and UW-Parkside will remain open. On other UW campuses only essential services will be operating such as public safety.