A major winter storm will be moving across Wisconsin the next few days bringing snow, sleet, ice and heavy rain that could cause flooding, dangerous travel conditions and possible power outages due to ice.
Numerous warnings and watches are in effect across the state including an ice storm warning for Marquette, Green Lake, Fond du Lac, Sheboygan, Sauk, Columbia and Dodge Counties as forecasters say up to ½ inch of ice could occur thru Tuesday.
The first wave of the storm system began this morning moving across northern Wisconsin bringing heavy snow. Southern Wisconsin will see rain beginning tomorrow morning. Freezing rain is likely across much of central Wisconsin, including Eau Claire to Rhinelander and Green Bay down through Lone Rock to Sheboygan.
Extreme southeastern Wisconsin will have heavy rain of up to 1.5 to 2” that could cause flooding in streets, creeks and low areas, and some rivers. National Weather Service forecasters warn that a change in 1 or 2 degrees could be the difference between rain or freezing rain in some areas. Stay tuned to the latest forecast for your area as conditions may change with this developing storm.
If you do need to travel, leave early and make sure you have an emergency kit in your vehicles. A kit could help keep your family safe until help arrives. Consider carrying non-perishable foods, flashlight, extra hats, and gloves and blankets in your cars. Other suggestions are available at ReadyWisconsin.wi.gov
Before you travel, check with the 511 Wisconsin for the latest traffic and road conditions. This information, along with live traffic cameras and traffic alerts, can be accessed on the 511 Wisconsin system, which includes a free mobile app, @511WI on Twitter, or the mobile-friendly site www.511wi.gov.
When there is freezing rain, tree branches and power lines can begin to fall. Downed power lines are dangerous. Do not touch them or drive over them. Assume that they are live. If you see a downed power line, call your local utility company or emergency officials to alert them of downed lines.
Be careful of the icy conditions. Encourage elderly and the very young to stay indoors during the freezing rain. Check on your neighbors and friends to make sure they are alright.
For southeastern Wisconsin, residents need to be ready for potential flooding and flash flooding. Do not attempt to drive over a flooded road. STOP! Turn around and go another way. Pay attention to local reports as area creeks and rivers will continue to rise due to the expected heavy rain and rapid snowmelt.
For tips on emergency preparedness: http://readywisconsin.wi.gov. You can also follow ReadyWisconsin on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.