Officials stress cautious driving ahead of winter storm

As the rain turns to snow, crews in Dane and Rock Counties warn drivers of changing conditions.
Updated: Dec. 14, 2022 at 10:30 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - As the rain turns to snow, crews in Dane and Rock Counties warn drivers of changing conditions, which will require undistracted driving as snowplows tackle the roads.

“There’s really not a lot of pre-treatment that we’re able to do beforehand, so a lot of this is going to be counter-punching as the snow comes,” said City of Madison Streets Division spokesperson Bryan Johnson.

Johnson says the rain prevents pre-treatment, forcing crews to keep pace with the storm as it is happening. He also notes the warm, wet conditions will make for slushy, slippery roads and advises drivers to use caution during the morning commute.

“It means the roads are going to be really slippery once this starts coming down,” said Johnson.

And as temps continue to drop over the weekend, Johnson advises clearing sidewalks and driveways early, ahead of the freeze. Director of Public Works in Rock County, Duane Jorgenson, stresses the need to operate carefully around the snowplows, allowing them 300 feet to work.

“Our crews are going to be transitioning throughout the course of the whole event,” said Jorgenson. “When we’re dealing with a lot of snow and rain, you get a lot of kick-up and a lot of cloud-type effect behind those trucks.”

Johnson says at least five crashes occurred during the last winter storm due to people driving too close or trying to pass plows.

“We had at least five incidents where are tucks were hit by other people that had slid into the back of our trucks from being too close, so keep your distance and stay alert,” said Johnson.

Both asked for patience, undistracted driving, and leaving early to accommodate slow speeds. Johnson says 36 trucks will be ready and waiting, starting at midnight, for the change in conditions.

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