Treacherous roads again for morning commute, many Wisconsin schools closed

February 21, 2019

The wicked winter of 2019 just doesn’t want to quit.

An early morning snowstorm dumped just enough snow on south-central Wisconsin to make roads and highways treacherous, forcing dozens of schools to close once again for the safety of students.

The Dane County 911 Communications Center said area highways were in pretty good shape, with hardly any reports of slide-offs or crashes, but outlying highways had many reports of such mishaps, especially on the Interstate and Highway 151.

Madison Streets Division spokesman Bryan Johnson said salter trucks went out about 4 a.m. Wednesday with sand trucks sent to streets where garbage pickups are scheduled.

“It’s been pretty standard so far,” Johnson said. “Streets are slow and sloppy, and we can expect the same thing on the way home.”

Plows are working the 32 salt routes, which include major thoroughfares, bus routes and streets around schools and hospitals.

“We’ll see what the storm gives us,” Johnson said. “We could get some freezing rain later, so residential streets could be very slippery.”

To add to the mix, snow removal efforts are still ongoing from the big storm that hit Madison Sunday.

The state highway travel map showed all major routes in southwest, south-central and northwest Wisconsin to be snow covered and slippery, with areas near Milwaukee still in good winter driving condition.

About 33 public school districts and private schools, mostly in southwest Wisconsin, called off class for Wednesday. Madison public schools are open.

With storm after storm hitting the Madison area this winter, drivers can get complacent about driving on slick roads, but Johnson said that’s not a good idea.

“Overconfidence can kick in, but don’t be deceived,” he said.