February 2, 2011 2:45 PM
The big storm has passed with Madison getting about 18 inches of snow out of the double barreled three day event. Now, we'll have to contend with continued brisk winds into tonight and then some very cold temperatures.
While Streets Superintendent Al Schumacher and his crews have done great work, don't expect conditions to be anything but challenging until later in the day on Friday. Al tells me that the general plowing operation should wrap up by about 10:00p.m., and we're hitting the main arterials with salt this afternoon. The problem is that the plummeting temperatures will reduce the effectiveness of salt. So, we should anticipate that it will be slow going on the morning and evening commutes on Thursday and probably the morning drive time on Friday as well.
But, once the temperatures climb above the 15 degree threshold, which is forecasted on Friday, the streets will improve significantly.
In other snow-related news, make sure to check the vents on your house so that they are clear of snow. The Fire Department reports several cases of carbon monoxide in homes last night.
Check on your neighbors, especially elderly neighbors, to make sure their vents are clear and that they're alright.
Try to get your sidewalk cleared as soon as you can. The Building Inspection unit is giving a little leeway on that because of all the drifting. Normally, city ordinance would require that your walk be cleared by noon on Thursday. But BI is extending that until noon on Friday and even then we'll start with warnings as long as some good faith attempt has been made.
All city functions, including Madison Metro, the libraries and parks will be up and running normally come tomorrow morning.
This was a major storm, and it will take awhile for us to clean up from it entirely. If we all have a little patience and look out for our neighbors, we'll be alright.