Snowstorm dumps 5-10 inches across region; bitter cold follows

2013-01-30T22:15:00Z Snowstorm dumps 5-10 inches across region; bitter cold followsJEFF GLAZE | Wisconsin State Journal | jglaze@madison.com | 608-252-6138 madison.com

Groundhogs across southern Wisconsin must be panicking ahead of their Saturday prediction.

Southern Wisconsin plummeted back into winter Wednesday as a storm blanketed the region with snow just a day after a record-setting temperature of 54 degrees.

More than 5 inches of snow accumulated at Dane County Regional Airport by 6 p.m. Wednesday.

The storm ushered in a cold front that includes two days of bitter cold, with the National Weather Service forecasting highs of 10 degrees Thursday and 4 degrees Friday.

Madison’s snowfall total was relatively light compared to other communities to the north and west, with 10 inches of snow reported in Reedsburg and 9 inches reported in Portage.

"It started out as a very wet snow earlier in the day, but as the temperature dropped and dropped, it turned into a lighter, drier snow," said Weather Service hydrologist Brian Hahn.

The snow accumulation was enough to cause 84 southern Wisconsin school districts and private schools to call off classes Wednesday. It also kept many other people indoors.

Chris Eaglin, owner of Christopher Ross Contracting, spent his day preparing tax forms for his business after the snow confined him to doing office work.

"I’ve been trying to get an inspection done on this property in the (Wisconsin) Dells," he said. "I was supposed to go on Tuesday and it rained all day, and now it’s snowing. Now that there’s snow, it will probably be a couple weeks before I can look at this guy’s roof."

But others had to brave the dicey roads and dropping temperatures.

The Dane County 911 Center said it received a large number of calls for cars that slid off the road throughout the day.

Between 9 a.m. and noon, the volume of crashes forced Madison police to respond only to accidents that involved injury or significant traffic blockage.

While no significant injuries were reported from Wednesday crashes, slippery roads caused a semi-tractor trailer to slide off the Beltline near Old Sauk Road. The crash occurred at 3:15 p.m. and was cleared in about 90 minutes, but cleanup efforts partially blocked one lane in each direction, according to Madison Police Lt. Cory Nelson.

Nelson said roads were improving Wednesday night as snowfall tapered off and city plows worked to clear streets.

Streets Superintendent Chris Kelley said most residential streets in Madison would be plowed before midnight Wednesday.

But the task of digging out could take much longer for some.

Jason Timmens was partially into a 3 1/2 hour plowing job at an apartment complex along East Dayton Street around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday. The 38-year-old contracts through Capitol Lakes Property Services to clear snow from driveways and sidewalks around the county. Timmens had cleared seven properties but had 25 to go.

"I should be out doing those (25) properties until about (midnight) tonight," he said. "When I get done with that I’ve got to re-hit my seven I did earlier. So I might be getting done by about 3 a.m."

Milder air will start sneaking in this weekend, with highs in the 20s on Saturday and Sunday and up to the mid-30s on Monday.


— Bill Novak of madison.com contributed to this report

Copyright 2014 madison.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(24) Comments

  1. BigWheel
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    BigWheel - January 31, 2013 9:02 am
    @Gotch:

    Yes, you fear that bicycle advocates in Madison are going to do to you what the forces of Motordom did to everyone else in the 1940's: Take over everything and intentionally neglect other modes for the WANT of a pleasant travelling experience.

    The bottom line is that gas taxes only pay for 17% of local road costs. The rest comes from property taxes THAT I PAY. All I want is for the money I (and other people who use the bicycling infrastructure in Madison) pay to be spent on the infrastructure I use to meet my needs. I have every right as a taxpayer to expect comparable service, whether I choose to drive a car, ride the bus, or peddle a bicycle, regardless of what fear-mongers like you would like to foist on me.
  2. Acapitalidea
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    Acapitalidea - January 31, 2013 5:18 am
    Not really.
  3. lloll
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    lloll - January 31, 2013 1:05 am
    I ride a bike for probably half the trips I need to make somewhere. I can understand the anger driver feel towards bikers as I feel it too. It drives me crazy when a guy riding a bike blows through an intersection paying little head to traffic signals. I occasionally find myself hoping a person crashes but is mostly uninjured. Perhaps it due to how much time I spend on campus and how frequently I witness bike foot or moped traffic being jerks.

    That said, I don't get the general animosity drivers or bus riders have towards bikers. I don't know numbers but I would guess there would be a noticeable increase in bus or traffic congestion if bikers were to stop biking.

    One last thing. Bikers who actually ride on willy street are dumbasses and lazy. You've a dedicated bike bath in one direction and a (I think ) bike boulevard a block
    In the other. Come on. You're just asking to be Doored. Specially the ones riding side by side
  4. Fact or Fiction
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    Fact or Fiction - January 30, 2013 11:32 pm
    Fiction
  5. JakeWeery
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    JakeWeery - January 30, 2013 11:15 pm
    You are an ineffable dunce with nothing to say, yet speak with a plentiful allowance of reasonless conjecture and pointless generalities.
  6. River
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    River - January 30, 2013 10:21 pm
    I saw three bikers out on the road today. Idiots should be fined.
  7. Cornelius Gotchberg
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    Cornelius Gotchberg - January 30, 2013 9:02 pm
    @BigWheel;

    I assign you no persona, but must confess embracing some preconcieved notions about the Cyclistocrats. These were not come by willy-nilly and I won't belabor the details; most of them, leastways.

    I saw up close and personal the Cyclistocracy, their lackeys on the Commonsenseless Council, and an agenda driven CE cram BIKIE projects (want trumping need) down several neighborhood's throats. These taxpaying residents (an overwhelmingly clear majority in each case) had legitimate concerns They were paid lip service and were listened to, but were never, ever heard. The kicker? many of these people are devout Lefties! I went to meetings, sat in on a UW Research Park Design Committee confab, corresponded with the CC, CE, Mayor Bikeshorts, etc.

    Did the earth fall out of orbit and careen into the Sun? no. And if that's all one has to get bunged up about at the end of the day, life isn't so bad. But long time residents got flipped off; not only that, they were asked to say thank you.
    Folks will sooner forget the death of a loved one than assimilating the perception that public employees, people whose salaries they pay, screwed them. And perception is reality.

    FWIW-a; The SW BIKIE path is ALWAYS cleared WAY before my residential street.

    FWIW-b; I own a legally registered BIKIE and always make every effort to respect those I encounter while moving about in whatever mode of transport happens to be providing my conveyance.

    The Gotch
  8. BigWheel
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    BigWheel - January 30, 2013 8:11 pm
    @Gotch:

    The personna you assign to me is highly inaccurate, and is derived from a collective mis-perception about people who like to travel by bicycle.

    Let's start here: Bike paths are not cleared before the streets. The policy documents can be found here: http://www.cityofmadison.com/residents/winter/documents/SnowIceProcedures.pdf

    All-out plowing starts as soon as there is 3 inches of snow. Meanwhile, bike path clearing begins at 4:00am. I can tell you that the Capitol path on the near east side was clear by 10am, but the southwest path had not been cleared. But please, forget you ever heard this and continue on, proving what you are...

    The funny thing about the crash statistics is that when cars and bicycles crash, guess who is usually found to be at fault? If it was true that bicyclists demonstrate "horrendously unsafe scofflaw behavior", you would think bicyclists would be in more crashes and found at fault a larger percent of the time. Don't believe me? http://www.cityofmadison.com/trafficEngineering/documents/Current_CrashReport.pdf

    Page 21 tells it like it is: Motorists found lacking 59% of the time (50% fail to yield right-of-way, 9% inattentive driving), Bicyclists found lacking 25% of the time. But why pay attention to facts like that when you can just continue on, proving what you are...
  9. Lumberjack
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    Lumberjack - January 30, 2013 7:16 pm
    Contrary to the whiners, I think Madison's streets' department does a good job, especially considering the restrictions we place them under ~ limited resources and lower salt application to reduce the impact on the environment. I appreciate the strategy of saving money by plowing the residential streets once (when the snow fall is over) while keeping the main streets open and the bus lanes plowed. I live in the Heritage Heights neighborhood and the plows do a great job of scraping to the pavement and pushing the snow up to the curb. When we had the 15 inch snowfall, they ran up and down the street 3 times to get it cleared. It looked as good as if we had had 3 inches. Tonight they even stopped for a neighbor so that he could move his car before they plowed through.
  10. BananaSplitz
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    BananaSplitz - January 30, 2013 6:53 pm
    This one took the bus today, thanks. Like I usually do.
  11. BananaSplitz
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    BananaSplitz - January 30, 2013 6:52 pm
    Darn tootin'!
  12. DaBigE
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    DaBigE - January 30, 2013 6:29 pm
    WTF BigWheel?!?? I WAS supporting you (won't make that mistake again). I was referring to the ice buried under the snow...not the best conditions for biking. SHEESH. Pull the seatpost out of your butt once and a while.
  13. Hogzilla
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    Hogzilla - January 30, 2013 6:13 pm
    Sounds like somebody needs a nap.
  14. john q public
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    john q public - January 30, 2013 5:55 pm
    I live across the street from a grade school, and it never ceases to amaze me when they plow my street 8+ times for an inch of snow, yet the side roads haven't been plowed a single time. I have actually seen the plows raise their blades once off this block.
  15. Cornelius Gotchberg
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    Cornelius Gotchberg - January 30, 2013 5:31 pm
    @danno;

    Easy there big guy, even though you're absolutely correct on the law(s), you may not be aware of just how seriously @BigWheel takes this BIKIE stuff. He, et al, is saving the Planet and us the benighted knuckledraggers ought to genuflect and applaud the fact that we live amongst such "high level thinkers" that "think" so "high" that they voted for Owebama

    @BigWheel;

    Do you honestly think that pressing a poorly maufactured advantage is worth it? Jeepers, if there isn't a lane, just program your BIKIE GPS to get you over to the BIKIE PATH, TRAIL, LANE, BOULEVARD, BRIDGE system. The Commonsenseless Council, City Engineering, and the immutable, unimpeachable, secular powers-that-be, the Cyclistocracy, have established a protocol. They've seen to it that the aforementioned BIKIE infrastructure will be clear as a summer's day well before any of our city's streets.

    What can we do to make your unfulfilled lives easier? Let's see; it'll have to be something different than blanketing Dane County with BIKIE infrastructure that receives absolute priority during snow events. Howse about we waive the staggering financial burden of the exorbitant and unfair $10 quadrennial registration fee that fewer than 10 % of you pay? Not enough; then howse about we have the Police refuse to ticket your horrendously unsafe scofflaw behavior?

    Like former mayor Bikeshorts said, we should make it our city's priority to remove all impediments to BIKIEing. I'm starting to wonder; you think that might be why he's our *former* Mayor?

    The Gotch
  16. BigWheel
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    BigWheel - January 30, 2013 5:03 pm
    If my need to get home causes a problem for you because someone insisted on neglecting the bicycle lanes, perhaps the smart thing to do is not neglect the bicycle lanes?
  17. BigWheel
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    BigWheel - January 30, 2013 4:58 pm
    Why would you run me over?

    Licensing is not required by law, did you mean to use the word "Registration"?
    I'll register my bicycle with the city when the city agrees to put as much effort into locating my bicycle if it gets stolen as the city puts into locating your automobile if it got stolen.

    I have a light. I obey the traffic laws. And that hasn't helped with the respect one bit, has it?

    And yes, for the same reason we have lighting on every street and in front of every public building and parking lot, we need lights on the southwest path.
  18. LindaGD
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    LindaGD - January 30, 2013 4:25 pm
    It's fun seeing people not agree, kind of like reading about congressional issues!
  19. DaBigE
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    DaBigE - January 30, 2013 3:33 pm
    Go right ahead. It may not be smart in these conditions, but it's perfectly legal.
  20. Will Smith
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    Will Smith - January 30, 2013 3:30 pm
    I've lived here since 1957, and what gets me is they plow and scrape the plow when there is nothing but dust. They wake people up at 5am. A complete and total waste of time, money and energy!

    Then when there actually is snow this afternoon and it is piled up, they are no where to be found. This must be Government efficiency at work? Then the taxes go up year, after year, after year. I suppose the genius's running this place figure if they don't waste the money they won't get more of it? Isn't that the way these people think? Just piss off the people that pay the bills. That must be it.

    Do I have it right?




  21. SoylentGreen
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    SoylentGreen - January 30, 2013 1:35 pm
    WHAAAA!!!!! This is Wisconsin and it's winter - suck it up or move.
  22. BigWheel
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    BigWheel - January 30, 2013 1:16 pm
    If there's no lane in which to ride my bicycle, I'll be riding in yours.
  23. Archives_Shawn
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    Archives_Shawn - January 30, 2013 1:05 pm
    This means you Prius owners! Seriously, stay off the roads. You cause accidents!
  24. GAB
    Report Abuse
    GAB - January 30, 2013 10:27 am
    Hopefully, Madison DPW will do a better job on the streets this time. The previous storm's response was horrible. If there's not enough in the budget...take some out of the bicycle lane coffers.
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