EOC update #3: Hayward reports 16 inches of snow -- and it's still falling
Overview: A rare May winter storm continues to bring heavy snow in northwestern Wisconsin. Reports of over a foot of snow have been common in the region. Hayward in Sawyer County has reported 16 inches of snow.
According to the National Weather Service -the snow is expected to wind down later tonight. Tomorrow the area is expected to receive a snow/rain mixture with possible freezing rain in the early morning.
Power Outages: The heavy wet snow has been causing tree branches to down power lines causing power outages. Xcel Energy crews have restored service to more than half of the customers who experienced outages from today's snow storm. Currently, there are 13,000 Xcel Energy customers in Wisconsin without power. The number of customers affected by the storm in Wisconsin is now 30,000. Including southeastern Minnesota, the number of customers affected in the two states was 54,000. Xcel Energy anticipate having most customers restored to service by tonight, but due to continuing weather factors and hazardous road conditions all customers are not expected to be restored until end of the day Friday, May 3.
WI Dept. of Transportation: Roads remain slippery and snow packed. Highway crews are plowing state highways and will continue throughout the day. However, the heavy snow has also been difficult to move out of the way. In addition, trees and branches that have fallen on some highways because of the snow are also slowing down the plowing operations. Motorists should check winter road conditions before traveling by calling 5-1-1 or visiting 511wi.gov.
Iron County - Volunteers are removing sandbags at the Silver Street (Highway 77) bridge. DOT bridge inspector has opened the Silver and Poplar Street bridges. The river has gone down due to the snow fall, cold temperatures overnight and today.
Ashland County - Highway 169 near Mellon is open. It was closed due to flooding.
Buffalo County - About 5" snow reported, plows are out, schools are closed, no major issues to report.
Chippewa County - Local officials report 3 - 8" of snow, no major issues reported. Some roadways in the north part of the county obstructed by trees down in vicinity of Cty Hwy 40 & Cty Hwy M.
Dunn County -Snow totals vary 10-15" reported. A lot of tree limbs and power lines are down. Schools were closed today.
Eau Claire County - 2-3" of snow received. Some schools were closed, but no major issues reported.
Pepin County - Has received about a foot of snow. Schools are closed. There are reports of sporadic power outages.
Pierce County - Snow total in Ellsworth 14-15" & schools closed; spotty power outages and trees or limbs down, some roads temporarily blocked. No major issues reported.
St. Croix County - Snow totals vary 6-14", some tree limbs broken, a few power outages, but nothing major to report.
Wisconsin Emergency Management has not received any requests for state assistance. The State Emergency Operations Center remains on the 24-hour duty officer system, which is level 4. The WEM Senior Duty Officer and the Duty Officer will continue to monitor the situation.