Winter weather causes messy road conditions - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Winter weather causes messy road conditions

MARATHON COUNTY (WAOW) - Frigid temperatures and snow are hitting central Wisconsin again.

Drivers like John Halsted of Wausau are already planning for messy roads. He travels to Minneapolis for work.

"Normally it's 2 hours 45 minutes,” said Halsted. “But I usually plan 4 hours when it's going to snow."

He's not the only one affected. Mike Anderson of Sheboygan is in Wausau for his grandson's hockey tournament. He doesn't want to waste any time starting his drive back to Sheboygan.

"Hopefully we can get out of here before all the snow comes," said Anderson.

Wisconsin State Patrol officers say they've seen dozens of weather related incidents already over the weekend. But when there's fresh snow, a sergeant says they see people are actually more aware on the roads.

"It seems when you can actually see the snow on the surface of the roadway, people actually do slow down a little bit more," said Sgt. Bryan Wrycha of Wisconsin State Patrol.

But the extreme cold is adding an extra element of danger. The sergeant says people need to remember basic safety tips when hitting the roads.

"Slow down, give yourself enough distance between you and the vehicles around you,” said Wrycha. “Wear your safety belt if you do go in the ditch, and stay in your vehicle and call 911."

Some drivers are listening.

"Just be a defensive driver like always,” said Halsted. “Maybe give a little more bumper space."

"Fill up the truck and clear the windows so you can see real good," said Anderson.

Officials say preparation is key.

"Definitely plan ahead for the morning commute,” said Wrycha. “It could be bad, it could be good depending on what happens the rest of the night."

This is also for the bitter cold days that follow. Wisconsin State Patrol officers say they will be at full staff through this cold snap. They are preparing to help drivers that slide off or break down because of the cold.

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