Not taking any chances as a severe winter storm develops, Governor Jim Doyle Tuesday afternoon declared a state of emergency for all 72 Wisconsin counties.
The Governor’s State of Emergency calls to active duty elements of the Wisconsin National Guard as deemed necessary by Brigadier General Don Dunbar to assist authorities where needed. The declaration instructs all state agencies to assist in any response or recovery efforts that may be encountered.
The National Weather Service has issued a Blizzard Warning until midnight on Wednesday night. The warning includes the following counties: Taylor, Clark, Buffalo, Trempealeau, Jackson, LaCrosse, Monroe, Juneau, Adams, Vernon, Crawford, Richland, Grant, Marquette, Green Lake, Fond du Lac, Sheboygan, Sauk, Columbia, Dodge, Washington, Iowa, Dane, Jefferson, Lafayette, Green, Rock, Chippewa, Dunn, Pierce, Eau Claire and Dunn, Marathon, Shawano, Wood, Portage, Waupaca, Outagamie, Brown, Kewaunee, Waushara, Winnebago, Calumet, Manitowoc, Marinette, Oconto, Menominee, and Door. The remainder of the State remains under a Winter Storm Warning. The National Weather Service advises that falling and blowing snow with strong winds will create poor visibilities that will lead to whiteout conditions. Travel will be extremely dangerous. Travel is not recommended.
“We are expecting blizzard-like conditions for much of the state over the next 24 to 36 hours,” Governor Doyle said. “As a precautionary measure, I have declared a State of Emergency in order for state resources and National Guard assets to be available to respond as needed.”
The State of Wisconsin Emergency Operations Center (EOC) was activated at 8:00 a.m. this morning to monitor the situation and is fully operational. Staff from the Department of Military Affairs, Wisconsin Emergency Management, Department of Transportation, State Patrol, Department of Natural Resources and the National Weather Service are working in the EOC.
The Wisconsin State Patrol, Emergency Management and Department of Transportation are working closely with local officials to monitor road conditions. If conditions warrant, actions could be taken to close roadways or portions of the Interstate where necessary.