UPDATE: Road crews clearing highways - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

UPDATE: Road crews clearing highways


LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) - Drivers can still expect to see some remnants of the snow storm that rolled through the area on Thursday.

Reports to the National Weather Service in La Crosse state that a number of secondary roads, especially ones along area ridges, are snow covered and may still contain some drifts from the winds that accompanied the storm.

Gusts of 25 to 50 miles an hour moved the snow that fell around much of Thursday.  This led to snow drifts of anywhere from two to four feet in places.

Road crews are out trying to clear roads, but authorities caution drivers to take extra time getting to their destinations Friday morning.

For people who do need to venture out, here is information for road conditions for Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa. 

The stretch of I-90 between La Crosse and Tomah is reported as ice covered.  Elsewhere in the state, Highway 14 in Rock County is closed due to multiple accidents and impassable roads.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation lists most of the main roads in Southeastern Minnesota as snow covered and slippery.

A number of area rural school districts remained closed or delayed Friday due to the storm and road conditions.  Click here for a complete list of those schools.


ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX 47) -- High winds are creating serious hazards for large trucks on interstates and freeways.

The Iowa Department of Transportation has asked truck drivers to postpone their commutes until safe travel conditions are restored.

Wind gusts exceeded 50 miles per hour Thursday, blowing snow across the roads. Drivers at truck stops in Stewartville talked about the dangers that come along with high winds.

"Like myself, I don't have much weight on it," said Randy Thompson, a driver for Hartland Lubricants. "So you can drift back and forth from lane to lane. It doesn't really throw you into a ditch or anything, it just moves the trailer back and forth, you can feel it."

Road conditions are expected to improve by Friday.


LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) - Although the storm has ended, Mother Nature has decided to move around what snow has already fallen.

A blizzard warning remains in effect until midnight for counties in Western Wisconsin, Southeastern Minnesota, and Northeastern Iowa.

Behind the storm system that dropped anywhere from three to eleven inches depending on the location, brisk winds of 25 to 35 miles an hour gusting up to 50 miles an hour are blowing the snow across roads, fields, and yards.  The forecast calls for the winds to diminish later in the evening.

As of 5:00pm, the National Weather Service stated that eight inches of snow had fallen in the past 24 hours in La Crosse.  Just across the river in La Crescent, five inches were reported. Heavier snowfall occured in Muscoda in Grant County, 11 inches, and in the Buffalo County community of Mondovi-10.3 inches.  In Mt. Sterling in Crawford County, an even foot of snow had fallen according to NWS reports.

Three morning flights at the La Crosse Municipal Airport were canceled due to the weather.  They were three of scores of canceled or delayed flights.  Rochester and Eastern Iowa airports also canceled flights during Thursday. 

Authorities are not recommending any travel as the winds may create whiteout conditions for drivers and limiting visibilities. Only a few accidents were reported in the area.

If you do have to travel, here is information for road conditions for Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa.


LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) - Blizzard conditions are blanketing the region with large amounts of snow.  The weather has forced cancellations of schools and events and hampered travel across the area. 

Recent snowfall totals varied greatly depending on where you lived. 

Arcadia is reporting to the National Weather Service 8.5 inches of snow had fallen in the storm.

From around 8:00 a.m. totals include 6.2 inches in Westby, while down the road in Viroqua, only 4.5 inches were reported. Richland Center had 7.0 inches of new snow.  A snowfall report from French Island shows only 3.6 inches of snow.


Students across Wisconsin have a day off. Hundreds of schools canceled classes as a major snowstorm moved into the state.

Madison, Prairie du Chien, La Crosse and Tomah were among the many school districts closed Thursday.

The National Weather Service issued a blizzard warning for some counties as winds of up to 45 mph were expected to create whiteout conditions. The State Patrol is advising against non-essential travel.

Ten inches of snow had already piled up in Osseo by early Thursday morning with 6 ½ inches at Lomira.

Storm reports from 7:45 a.m. from the National Weather Service showed that Holmen received 6.2 inches, Winona 7.0 inches, and Waukon 5.0 inches.

About four inches of snow had fallen by about 7:30am in West Salem, while La Crescent reported only 3.4 inches.


According to WXOW Daybreak meteorologist Alex Kirchner, the snow is falling this morning in amounts ranging from 1-2" per hour. The snow is expected to taper off later today.  However, as the snow ends, the winds will pick up.  Blowing and drifting snow is forecast until Friday morning.  With those conditions, drifts of 2-4 feet are possible.

As of 5am, snowfall totals have ranged from ten inches in Osseo to five inches in La Crosse.  Residents of the city are looking at ten inches of new snow when the storm finally ends.

Although travel is not recommended, if you have to travel, here is are links to the latest road conditions.

Speaking on Daybreak, Lt. Patrick Hogan of the La Crosse Police Dept. says that as of early this morning, there had only been a couple of minor accidents in the city.


The heaviest snow is expected across a swath extending from northwest Missouri into Milwaukee, Chicago and Michigan, with predictions of as much as a foot of snow in some areas, according to the National Weather Service. Before the storm, several cities in the Midwest had broken records for the number of consecutive days without measurable snow.

Light snow, strong winds and low clouds could make visibility poor and cause delays at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, the nation's second-busiest airport, according to the National Weather Service. The weather has already prompted Delta and United Airlines to allow many affected travelers to change schedules without incurring fees.

By Wednesday night, snow had blanketed parts of Iowa and Nebraska as the storm moved out of eastern Colorado and across parts of Kansas. Several states were reporting numerous traffic accidents, including one fatality in Nebraska.

"There are a few truckers stranded here. And we have some semis that have rolled over and we have some that have jackknifed," said Ashley Brozek, a clerk at the Eagle Travel Center in the western Kansas town of Tribune. "We also have a UPS driver that is stranded and a local family has let him in for the night."

In Madrid, about 30 miles north of Des Moines, auto repair shop owner Steve Simmons said he had a busy Wednesday morning with customers looking for snow tires ahead of the storm.

"Everybody seems to wait to the last minute for this kind of thing," he said. And he was also expecting a busy Thursday snowplowing several churches and private businesses.

"The bad weather usually benefits me greatly," he said.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Kris Sanders explained "it's a pretty strong system that is coming out of the Rockies," where the storm dumped a foot of snow - a gift for ski resorts in Colorado, New Mexico and Utah ahead of the busy holiday week - before moving east.

The moisture was being welcomed by farmers in the drought-parched region, but Sanders said the storm wouldn't make much of a dent. In Kansas, for example, some areas are more than 12 inches below normal precipitation for the year.

"It's not going to have a big effect, maybe only a half-inch of liquid precipitation. It's not helping us out much," the meteorologist said.

Sanders said another storm similar to the current one could bring additional snow on Christmas or the day after.

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