Sunday, February 17, 2008 - 3:28am
The City of Madison was hit with a mixture of rain sleet, and freezing rain last night. It was the first blow of a severe winter storm that is expected to drop 8 to 10 inches of snow on the city by Monday morning. The heavy rains and ice have made driving hazardous and people are strongly urged to stay off the streets. The City is responding to the storm with crews opening storm sewers, and applying sand and salt to main streets.
"Residential streets are extremely treacherous and people should stay home and avoid driving," Streets Division spokesperson George Dreckmann said. "Many side streets are ice covered and main streets have spots with heavy slush. There is standing water at intersections, low-lying areas, under bridges and on the Beltline."
Streets Division crews are applying a salt sand mix to main thoroughfares and trying to keep these roads open for emergency vehicles. Crews from Engineering, the Water Utility, Forestry, and Streets are working to open up storm sewers so water can drain before the heavy snow that is expected to fall in the next 24 hours.
"This is a major winter storm and we are urging residents to remove all vehicles from the streets immediately," Dreckmann said. "This will make snow removal more effective this evening."
The City of Madison will operate an around the clock snow plowing operation. They will respond to the changing weather conditions, but current plans are to keep working on main streets throughout the day and conduct a general plowing of all city streets at midnight. A second general plowing on Monday may be necessary.
"We are planning for heavy wet snow which will require extra time and effort to plow, especially after all of the rain," Dreckmann said.
- George Dreckmann267-2626