A severe winter storm expected to hit Wisconsin on Thursday has prompted Governor Scott Walker to declare a State of Emergency. Portions of the state are predicted to receive up 12 inches of snow, freezing rain, and strong winds, with west central and northwest Wisconsin expected to feel the brunt of the weather system.

Walker’s executive order means Wisconsin Emergency Management, the National Guard, the State Patrol, and the Departments of Transportation and Natural Resources will be at the ready to respond, in the event of an emergency situation. In a statement, Walker says “This executive order ensures we are prepared for this potentially dangerous winter storm which is expected to bring heavy snow and ice.”

State officials are already urging residents to prepare ahead of the storm and to check travel conditions before they leave home Thursday through the state’s 511 website.

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