Schools closed early: Roads treacherous in area|
Weather forecasters were predicting that the bulk of today’s snow storm would be south of Wausau, but Antigo got a surprise.
The storm moved north, clogging roads, complicating travel, stopping events and closing the Antigo, Elcho and White Lake districts as well as other area locations at 1 p.m. All evening athletic events have also been canceled.
The National Weather Service had initially included Langlade County in a winter advisory but as the front moved closer, it was evident that its path had changed and a warning was put into place.
Several inches of snow had already fallen by the noon hour and forecasters predict the totals to range in the five to nine inch range before the storm exits the area.
“With snow expected to continue throughout the day, motorists are being asked to refrain from traveling unless absolutely necessary as the winter storm warning continues for many counties in North Central Wisconsin,” said Kristin McHugh of the Department of Transportation said. “The Wisconsin State Patrol has responded to several run-offs and crashes across the region. Highway crews are out plowing state highways but the snow fall and gusting winds are making snow removal difficult. Roads are icy and motorists are advised to be extra cautious on interchange ramps.”
In Langlade County, a section of Highway 52 was closed near Kettlebowl ski hill today while a parts delivery truck was removed from the ditch. Casey Shea of Green Bay reported the accident at 8:18 a.m., indicating that his truck first rear-ended semi truck before sliding into the ditch. Neither Shea nor the the second driver, Brian Miller of Gresham, were injured.
It was a dicey stretch with another slide-in on the same stretch of road was reported shortly before 7 a.m.
Similar single vehicle accidents were reported throughout the morning including a county highway truck which slid into a ditch on Forest Road near Highway AA.
The decision to close school early was made after the precipition showed no sign of slowing. The Bowler, Crandon, Laona, Wabeno and Wausau school districts were also closing early.
There were hints that trouble was lurking.
The National Weather Service’s storm warning has been put into effect until midnight, suggesting there will be heavy snow and blowing with from five to nine inches accumulating before the cell moves on its way.
While the morning snowfall was a true mess, there may be even more problems in store.
The service said there is a 90 percent chance of snow this afternoon, but not as heavy, with the band moving into to the south.
There is also a chance for freezing drizzle to further complicate the situation. Temperatures will slip to about zero, and winds between 15 and 20, gusting to 28, the chill will be from 10 to 20 below zero.
And of course, all that snow that fell today will be blowing everywhere.
Road conditions across the state can be checked online at www.511.wi.gov
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