April snowstorm slows down drivers

April snowstorm slows down drivers

If April showers bring May flowers, April snowfalls bring mad drivers.

“We were not expecting this, no,” driver Eric Kortbein said. “It’s pretty crazy.”

Kortbein made a quick pit stop outside Portage while traveling home to Milwaukee after a trip for his son’s birthday. With Mother Nature pouring down snow as a present, he said they’re taking it easy on the roads.

“They’ve been just awful,” he said. “We actually counted nine cars off the road between Mauston and here.”

The Wisconsin State Patrol DeForest Post reported more than 200 vehicles in distress and about 60 crashes in the greater Madison area since Sunday began at midnight.

“(Interstate) 90 was really bad,” driver Paul Wilburn said.

He and his wife, Mandie, and their children were driving from Minneapolis to Madison, wishing for warmer weather.

“When I booked this trip in January, I was definitely thinking we’d be coming to some green grass, 60 degrees, maybe 70,” Wilburn said.

“It makes it harder to take, I guess,” Lt. Wayne Smith, of the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, said. “We’re all planning on spring, and Mother Nature again has surprised us.”

Smith said the storm caused more than a dozen crashes on county roads alone since midnight.

“Really, all the roads in the county are in poor winter driving conditions,” he said. “They’re all snow covered and slippery. (On) Saturday, we had a good deal of ice and slush. Now we’ve got snow on top if it, so it’s making it hazardous.”

He said it’s best for people to stay off the streets while winter takes what is hopefully its last breath. But he urged those who have to travel to clear their cars completely of snow and to slow down.

“Certainly, I think people are ready to be done with this at this point,” Smith said.

“Will it just please warm up?” Kortbein said. “It is time. We’re waiting for summer.”