Drivers should go too fast Thursday morning, even though the city of Madison has managed to plow all residential streets in the city following Wednesday's snowstorm.
The National Weather Service reported the storm dumped 5 to 10 inches of snow. Reports include 5.3 inches in Madison, 9 inches in Portage and 10 inches in Reedsburg.
The Madison Streets Department said they managed to plow all the city's residential streets by 2 a.m. Thursday. Crews will continue to salt and plow main arterials, main connector streets and streets around hospitals, schools and Madison Metro bus routes throughout the day.
Streets officials said due to light snowfall Thursday morning, streets are snow covered and slippery. Because of this, they plan to keep crews on 30 salt routes throughout the day.
Baraboo, Necedah, Wisconsin Dells, Prairie du Chien, Sparta, Tomah and Marshfield were among districts calling off school on Wednesday as snow accumulated. The University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh canceled classes beginning at 4 p.m. Wednesday.
Dane County sheriff's officials warned motorists of extremely slippery roads and some near-whiteout conditions. Deputies were dealing with numerous crashes.
Parts of the Beltline were shut down near Old Sauk Road because of a jackknifed tractor-trailer Wednesday afternoon, which slowed Beltline traffic down to a crawl. It took authorities more than three hours to clear the scene.
Arctic air is moving into Wisconsin as the storm moves out. Sub-zero cold is forecast statewide Thursday night.
Authorities said blowing and drifting snow along with the extreme cold will continue to cause problems for drivers.
Emergency management officials warned that the commute Thursday morning will be dangerous and help will be slow to arrive.
"There will be times where you will get into an accident, and first responders are busy dealing with so many other incidents and accidents all over the place, you may have to hunker down in your car and wait for help," said Tod Pritchard, of Wisconsin Emergency Management.
Emergency management officials are recommending that people have winter emergency kits in their vehicle in case they get stranded and have to wait a long time for help to arrive.
"You think, 'If I get in trouble, I'll just call 911 and someone will be here in 10 minutes.' Well, it might be a lot longer than that," Pritchard said.
Tow-truck drivers were also very busy Wednesday night getting many drivers out of snowbanks.
Jordan Sapp-Collazo, of Schmidt Towing, said he pulled an all-day shift pulling cars out of the snow.
"This is probably my 15th or more run. I stopped counting this morning," Sapp-Collazo said.
Sapp-Collazo said he expects to be busy over the next few days, as he will likely also be helping people with dead car batteries from the frigid temperatures.
In Madison, the biggest problem for residents may be getting out of their driveways Thursday morning, since there could be a buildup of lots of heavy snow from when the plows came through.
The city is reminding residents that this snow has a lot of moisture in it, and that people should use caution when they shovel it as the snow is very heavy.
The city of Madison declared a snow emergency Wednesday, which means that side parking restrictions will be in effect throughout the entire city, including the downtown/isthmus snow emergency zone.
Madison residents are asked to remove all vehicles from the street if possible. Residents who must park on the street Wednesday evening should park on the odd-house-numbered side of the street. Vehicles parked on the street Thursday evening should be parked on the odd house numbered side of the street.
Violations of the alternate side parking rules are punishable by a fine of $60 throughout the entire city of Madison. Violators could also be towed.
Madison Streets Superintendent Chris Kelley said crews began plowing all residential streets in Madison around 3 p.m. Wednesday.
Kelley said crews want to get the snow off the pavement on the residential streets as soon as possible so that there will be less ice formed from traffic driving on the untreated residential streets and compacting the snow into ice. Kelley said the city hopes to have most residential streets plowed by midnight.
"I think people need to remember, you may be on a main road right now, the plows have been out, the road's good. But you may turn onto a different road that hasn't been plowed and it's a whole new ball game on that road," Kelley said.