August 30, 2014

Emergency official says storm will intensify

An emergency official warns the worst is yet to come with Wisconsin’s winter storm. Although some areas of Wisconsin were dumped on overnight into the morning, other regions fared better.

State Emergency Management spokesman Tod Pritchard is concerned some Wisconsinites, experiencing a morning lull in severe weather, might develop a “false sense of security” about the dangerous conditions. Pritchard says it’s still important to stay home if possible.

Blizzard warnings are in effect parts of the state and kick in later today in other regions.

The state Emergency Operations Center was activated last night and will be staffed through the duration of the storm. “We’re going to watch this thing closely. It could still be very dicey going through the rest of the day today,” he says.

Governor Walker declared a state of emergency Wednesday. The National Guard is out helping close roads, assisting stranded drivers, and operating warming centers. DNR wardens are also around the state helping authorities.

Authorities say at least two people have died during the storm conditions. Rock County sheriff’s deputies say 41-year-old Jaime Paiz-Gutierrez and 45-year-old Guadalupe Ortiz, both of Footville, slid on an icy Highway 11 around 9:30 last night and collided with an oncoming semi-truck. Both died at the scene. The truck driver was taken to a Janesville hospital with minor injuries.

As of 8:30 this morning, EOC had received no state requests from local or county responders.