Storm Mode: State Response to Blizzard

UPDATED Wednesday, December 9, 2009 --- 8:13 p.m.

Press Release:

As of 8:00 p.m. tonight, the Wisconsin Emergency Operations Center (EOC) was transferred back to the 24 hour duty officer system. There has been no request for state assistance.

The State EOC has been fully operational since Tuesday at 8:00 a.m. in response to the winter blizzard.

Wisconsin Emergency Management, Wisconsin Department of Transportation, Wisconsin State Patrol, Wisconsin National Guard, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and other state agencies will continue to actively monitor the severe weather conditions through the 24/7 Wisconsin Emergency Management Duty Officer system and the Joint Operations Center.

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State Situation Report #9:

Situation - Blizzard Warnings downgraded to Wind Chill Advisories. Lake Effect Snow Advisory tonight for Lake Superior snowbelt (another 2 to 6 inches in that area for a total of 24 to 30 inches max). Wind chill advisories tonight for wind chill values dropping to below -20. Northwest winds 15 to 25 mph with gusts to 35 mph this evening.

Governor's State of Emergency - On 12/08/2009, Governor Doyle declared a State of Emergency for all 72 counties. The declaration calls to active duty elements of the Wisconsin National Guard and instructs all state agencies to assist in any response or recovery efforts that may be required.

Wisconsin Emergency Management - The State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) will remain open until 8:00 p.m. tonight.

Joint Operations Center - Heavy duty vehicles with chains are available at 10 National Guard facilities and nine have been manned since 6 a.m.; manning will continue through at least 6 p.m., 12/10/09. Aviation assets are also available -- all pending requests from civilian authorities.

Department of Transportation - Motorists can get up to date traveler information by calling 511 from their cellular phones or logging onto www.511wi.gov. All roadways are passable, but there are many snow-covered and slippery spots. Many counties are pulling trucks from secondary roads early this evening to give plow drivers a rest. Full plowing staff will resume early tomorrow morning prior to the morning commute.

State Patrol - Coordinating with local governments and the State Operations Center to handle any potential road closures. State Patrol currently staffed at a high state of readiness statewide. State Patrol is discouraging all road travel. If travel is necessary, individuals are being advised to dress warmly and prepare for the cold conditions.

Department of Natural Resources - 11 wardens in the north east region and 6 in the south central region (4-wheel drive vehicles coordinating through State Patrol) drove the sections of interstate and state highways providing extra eyes for situational awareness and public safety. A total of 97 wardens were on stand-by throughout this event. Bureau of Law Enforcement provided 3 personnel to staff the SEOC during the course of the event.

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UPDATED Wednesday, December 9, 2009 --- 5:45 p.m.

Press Release:

The season's first snowstorm has packed enough punch to prompt Gov. Jim Doyle to close all state government offices, including University of Wisconsin campuses, for public business. The governor also ordered state employees not essential to emergency responses to remain home Wednesday.

However, the Wisconsin National Guard has resources available across the state to respond if civilian authorities request assistance.

According to Maj. David May, the Wisconsin National Guard's deputy director of operations for domestic support, a number of tactical vehicles equipped for blizzard conditions - Humvees, 5- ton trucks and heavy expanded mobility tactical trucks, along with operators - are available to respond to this storm.

If called upon, Guard members might find themselves assisting the State Patrol in searching for stranded motorists along snow-clogged highways, or delivering food and water to motorists and other displaced citizens at emergency collection sites. National Guard armories and other facilities could be opened as collection sites if the need arises, May said.

In addition, the Wisconsin National Guard's two Army aviation units have flight crews available, once the weather improves to allow flights, to conduct air searches along highways for traffic accidents or blockages as well as stranded motorists.

May explained that, because the Wisconsin National Guard is monitoring the events as they unfold in the state Emergency Operations Center, it can be proactive in its response. As various agencies identify needs, appropriate resources can also be identified within the EOC and directed as needed.

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UPDATED Wednesday, December 9, 2009 --- 2:45 p.m.

The National Weather Service has issued a Blizzard Warning until midnight on Wednesday night, December 9th. The warning includes the following counties: Taylor, Clark, Buffalo, Trempealeau, Jackson, LaCrosse, Monroe, Juneau, Adams, Vernon, Crawford, Richland, Grant, Marquette, Green Lake, Fond du Lac, Sheboygan, Sauk, Columbia, Dodge, Washington, Iowa, Dane, Jefferson, Lafayette, Green, Rock, Chippewa, Dunn, Pierce, Eau Claire, Marathon, Shawano, Wood, Portage, Waupaca, Outagamie, Brown, Kewaunee, Waushara, Winnebago, Calumet, Manitowoc, Marinette, Oconto, Menominee, and Door. The remainder of the State remains under a Winter Storm Warning. The National Weather Service advises that falling and blowing snow with strong winds will create poor visibilities that will lead to whiteout conditions. Travel is currently extremely dangerous. Travel is not recommended. In addition, all state offices are closed.

Governor's State of Emergency - On 12/08/2009, Governor Doyle declared a State of Emergency for all 72 counties. The declaration calls to active duty elements of the Wisconsin National Guard and instructs all state agencies to assist in any response or recovery efforts that may be required.

Wisconsin Emergency Management - The State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is fully operational and actively monitoring the weather situation. Currently Dane, Rock, Brown, Richland and Marinette Counties have partial activated their Emergency Operations Centers in response to weather conditions.

Joint Operations Center - Ten National Guard facilities have prepositioned heavy duty vehicles (w/chains). Nine of those National Guard facilities have been manned since 6:00 am on Wednesday. The WING has planned to maintain that manning level until 6:00pm on 12/10/09. Two aviation facilities have aircrews on standby, but do not anticipate flyable weather in the state until 4:00 p.m. on 12/9/09.

Department of Transportation - Motorists can get up to date traveler information by calling 511 from their cellular phones or logging onto www.511wi.gov. In addition, DOT is monitoring road and traffic incidences. The website has experienced heavy traffic with the current situation. The STOC said they are working to try and get www.511wi.gov website operational by posting a text-only version online. This would reduce bandwidth allowing more usage.

State Patrol - Coordinating with local governments and the State Operations Center to handle any potential road closures. State Patrol currently staffed at a high state of readiness statewide. State Patrol is discouraging all road travel. The STOC emailed trucking companies asking drivers to slow down. In addition, electronic signs are positioned to advise drivers of adverse driving conditions.

Department of Natural Resources - 9 wardens (with 4-Wheel Drive Vehicles) coordinating through State Patrol will be driving sections of interstate and state highways to provide extra eyes for situational awareness and public safety.

Public Information - Continues to conduct media interviews. Requests are being received for radio & television interviews.

Information and updates are posted on Emergency Management's website, http://emergencymanagement.wi.gov/ and Twitter http://twitter.com/WI_EOC.

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UPDATED Wednesday, December 9, 2009 --- 11:00 a.m.

Situation Report from the Wisconsin Emergency Operations Center:

Situation - The National Weather Service has issued a Blizzard Warning until midnight on Wednesday night, December 9th. The warning includes the following counties: Taylor, Clark, Buffalo, Trempealeau, Jackson, LaCrosse, Monroe, Juneau, Adams, Vernon, Crawford, Richland, Grant, Marquette, Green Lake, Fond du Lac, Sheboygan, Sauk, Columbia, Dodge, Washington, Iowa, Dane, Jefferson, Lafayette, Green, Rock, Chippewa, Dunn, Pierce, Eau Claire, Marathon, Shawano, Wood, Portage, Waupaca, Outagamie, Brown, Kewaunee, Waushara, Winnebago, Calumet, Manitowoc, Marinette, Oconto, Menominee, and Door. The remainder of the State remains under a Winter Storm Warning. The National Weather Service advises that falling and blowing snow with strong winds will create poor visibilities that will lead to whiteout conditions. Travel is currently extremely dangerous. Travel is not recommended. In addition, all state offices are closed.

Governor's State of Emergency - Governor Doyle declared a State of Emergency for all 72 counties. The declaration calls to active duty elements of the Wisconsin National Guard and instructs all state agencies to assist in any response or recovery efforts that may be required.

Wisconsin Emergency Management - The State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is fully operational and actively monitoring the weather situation. Currently Dane, Rock, Brown and Richland Counties have partial activated their Emergency Operations Centers in response to weather conditions.

Joint Operations Center - Ten National Guard facilities are prepositioning heavy duty vehicles (w/chains). Seven of those National Guard facilities will be manned beginning at 6:00 am on Wednesday for at least two shifts. Two aviation facilities have aircrews on standby, but do not anticipate flyable weather in the state until 4:00 p.m. on 12/9/09.

Department of Transportation - Motorists can get up to date traveler information by calling 511 from their cellular phones or logging onto www.511wi.gov. In addition, DOT is monitoring road and traffic incidences.

State Patrol - Coordinating with local governments and the State Operations Center to handle any potential road closures. State Patrol currently staffed at a high state of readiness statewide. State Patrol is discouraging all road travel.

Department of Natural Resources - 15 wardens (with 4-Wheel Drive Vehicles) coordinating through State Patrol will be driving sections of interstate and state highways to provide extra eyes for situational awareness and public safety.

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UPDATED Wednesday, December 9, 2009 --- 8:40 a.m.

Press Release:

Governor Doyle Orders State Government Closure:

MADISON – In response to the blizzard that has impacted the state, Governor Jim Doyle today ordered the closure of all state government and University of Wisconsin campuses for public business.

“Wisconsin’s emergency workers are working hard to keep people safe,” Governor Doyle said. “State offices are closed for business to ensure we are keeping people off the roads and allowing emergency response crews to do their jobs.”

The Governor’s order directs that state employees are not to report to work unless their job duties include the provision or support of an emergency response, public health, or public safety function, and their absence would compromise delivery of essential public health, public safety, or emergency response functions that are required to continue despite weather conditions.

Governor Doyle last night declared a State of Emergency for all 72 counties as a major winter storm hit Wisconsin. The Governor’s State of Emergency calls to active duty elements of the Wisconsin National Guard as deemed necessary by Brigadier General Don Dunbar to assist authorities where needed. To view Governor Doyle’s Executive Order, visit: http://www.wisgov.state.wi.us/journal_media_detail.asp?locid=19&prid=4785.

The State of Wisconsin Emergency Operations Center (EOC) was activated at 8:00 a.m. Tuesday to monitor the situation and is fully operational. For situation updates and more information, please visit: http://emergencymanagement.wi.gov/

***NOTE***
As local conditions permit, two University of Wisconsin System campuses will remain OPEN today.

UW-Milwaukee and UW-Superior this morning were exempted from the Governor's order to close all State offices, based on local assessments that conditions do not warrant closure at this hour.

Chancellors at the two campuses will closely monitor conditions throughout the day and may cancel classes later if conditions worsen to the point that student and staff travel become dangerous.

UW System Administration and campus officials will continue to work closely with Wisconsin Emergency Management throughout the day to monitor the situation.

More local information for UW-Milwaukee and UW-Superior students is available from the two campus websites:

http://www.uwm.edu
http://www.uwsuper.edu

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UPDATED Wednesday, December 9, 2009 --- 6:25 a.m.

In response to the blizzard that has impacted the state, Governor Jim Doyle has ordered the closure of all state government and University of Wisconsin campuses for public business. The Governor's order directs that state employees are not to report to work, unless their job duties include the provision or support of an emergency response, public health, or public safety function, and their absence would compromise delivery of essential public health, public safety, or emergency response functions that are required to continue despite weather conditions.

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UPDATED Wednesday, December 9, 2009 --- 4:55 a.m.

Situation - The National Weather Service has issued a Blizzard Warning until midnight on Wednesday night, December 9th. The warning includes the following counties: Taylor, Clark, Buffalo, Trempealeau, Jackson, LaCrosse, Monroe, Juneau, Adams, Vernon, Crawford, Richland, Grant, Marquette, Green Lake, Fond du Lac, Sheboygan, Sauk, Columbia, Dodge, Washington, Iowa, Dane, Jefferson, Lafayette, Green, Rock, Chippewa, Dunn, Pierce, Eau Claire, Marathon, Shawano, Wood, Portage, Waupaca, Outagamie, Brown, Kewaunee, Waushara, Winnebago, Calumet, Manitowoc, Marinette, Oconto, Menominee, and Door. The remainder of the State remains under a Winter Storm Warning. The National Weather Service advises that falling and blowing snow with strong winds will create poor visibilities that will lead to whiteout conditions. Travel is currently extremely dangerous. Travel is not recommended.

Governor's State of Emergency - Governor Doyle declared a State of Emergency for all 72 counties. The declaration calls to active duty elements of the Wisconsin National Guard and instructs all state agencies to assist in any response or recovery efforts that may be required.

Wisconsin Emergency Management - The State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is fully operational and actively monitoring the weather situation. Currently Dane, Rock, Brown and Richland Counties have partial activated their Emergency Operations Centers in response to weather conditions.

Joint Operations Center - Ten National Guard facilities are prepositioning heavy duty vehicles (w/chains). Seven of those National Guard facilities will be manned beginning at 6:00 am on Wednesday for at least two shifts. One air crew has been placed on standby also beginning at 6:00 am on Wednesday.

Department of Transportation - Motorists can get up to date traveler information by calling 511 from their cellular phones or logging onto www.511wi.gov.

State Patrol - Coordinating with local governments and the State Operations Center to handle any potential road closures. State Patrol currently staffed at a high state of readiness statewide. State Patrol is discouraging all road travel.

Department of Natural Resources - 6 wardens (with Six 4-Wheel Drive Vehicles) coordinating through State Patrol will be driving sections of interstate and state highways to provide extra eyes for situational awareness and public safety.

Public Information - Continues to conduct media interviews. Requests are being received for radio & television interviews

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UPDATED Wednesday, December 9, 2009 --- 12:00 a.m.

Situation - The National Weather Service has issued a Blizzard Warning until midnight on Wednesday night, December 9th. The warning includes the following counties: Taylor, Clark, Buffalo, Trempealeau, Jackson, LaCrosse, Monroe, Juneau, Adams, Vernon, Crawford, Richland, Grant, Marquette, Green Lake, Fond du Lac, Sheboygan, Sauk, Columbia, Dodge, Washington, Iowa, Dane, Jefferson, Lafayette, Green, Rock, Chippewa, Dunn, Pierce, Eau Claire, Marathon, Shawano, Wood, Portage, Waupaca, Outagamie, Brown, Kewaunee, Waushara, Winnebago, Calumet, Manitowoc, Marinette, Oconto, Menominee, and Door. The remainder of the State remains under a Winter Storm Warning. The National Weather Service advises that falling and blowing snow with strong winds will create poor visibilities that will lead to whiteout conditions. Travel is currently extremely dangerous. Travel is not recommended.

Governor's State of Emergency - Governor Doyle declared a State of Emergency for all 72 counties. The declaration calls to active duty elements of the Wisconsin National Guard and instructs all state agencies to assist in any response or recovery efforts that may be required.

Wisconsin Emergency Management - The State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is now fully operational and actively monitoring the weather situation. Currently Dane, Rock, Brown and Richland Counties have partial activated their Emergency Operations Centers in response to weather conditions.

Joint Operations Center - Ten National Guard facilities are prepositioning heavy duty vehicles (w/chains). Seven of those National Guard facilities will be manned beginning at 6:00 am on Wednesday for at least two shifts. One air crew has been placed on standby also beginning at 6:00 am on Wednesday.

Department of Transportation - Plows will be out all night plowing the statewide interstate system. Plows will be pulled off statewide non-interstate highway until 3:00 am - 4:00 am tomorrow. In Columbia County-Hwy 39/90/94 is down to one lane open. In Rock County-Hwy 39/90 is down to one lane open. The blockage on Interstate Highway I-43 South of Green Bay is now open.

State Patrol - Coordinating with local governments and the State Operations Center to handle any potential road closures. State Patrol currently staffed at a high state of readiness statewide. State Patrol is discouraging all road travel.

Department of Natural Resources - 91 wardens have been placed on standby Statewide (with 4-Wheel Drive Vehicle & snowmobile capabilities). DNR is monitoring the situation via e-sponder.

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UPDATED Tuesday, December 8, 2009 --- 10:00 p.m.

Situation - The National Weather Service has issued a Blizzard Warning until midnight on Wednesday night, December 9th. The warning includes the following counties: Taylor, Clark, Buffalo, Trempealeau, Jackson, LaCrosse, Monroe, Juneau, Adams, Vernon, Crawford, Richland, Grant, Marquette, Green Lake, Fond du Lac, Sheboygan, Sauk, Columbia, Dodge, Washington, Iowa, Dane, Jefferson, Lafayette, Green, Rock, Chippewa, Dunn, Pierce, Eau Claire, Marathon, Shawano, Wood, Portage, Waupaca, Outagamie, Brown, Kewaunee, Waushara, Winnebago, Calumet, Manitowoc, Marinette, Oconto, Menominee, and Door. The remainder of the State remains under a Winter Storm Warning. The National Weather Service advises that falling and blowing snow with strong winds will create poor visibilities that will lead to whiteout conditions. Travel will be extremely dangerous. Travel is not recommended.

Governor's State of Emergency - Governor Doyle declared a State of Emergency for all 72 counties. The declaration calls to active duty elements of the Wisconsin National Guard and instructs all state agencies to assist in any response or recovery efforts that may be required.

Wisconsin Emergency Management - The State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) was activated beginning at 8:00 a.m. and is now fully operational. and is actively monitoring the weather situation. Staff from Department of Military Affairs, Wisconsin Emergency Management, Department of Transportation, State Patrol, Department of Natural Resources, and the National Weather Service are in the EOC. Regional Directors are in constant contact with County Emergency Management Directors.

Joint Operations Center - Ten National Guard facilities with vehicles will be manned beginning at 0600 hours on Wednesday for at least two shifts. One air crew has been placed on standby also beginning at 0600 hours.

Department of Transportation - Participated on a conference call with State Patrol. Highway 51/Interstate 39 was reported very dangerous. DOT message boards were utilized to warn motorists of the treacherous conditions. They will work to keep the Interstate and an alternate route open. DOT continues to monitor traffic information with State Traffic Operations Center.

State Patrol - Coordinating with local governments and the State Operations Center to handle any road closures. Coordinating with the National Guard on assistance that they could provide. Warning people and trying to discourage all travel. Reports no major incidents.

Department of Natural Resources - 82 wardens have been placed on standby Statewide (with 4-Wheel Drive Vehicle & snowmobile capabilities), and are establishing staffing for shift changes. They are monitoring the situation via e-sponder.

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UPDATED Tuesday, December 8, 2009 --- 6:45 p.m.

Situation - The National Weather Service has issued a Blizzard Warning until midnight on Wednesday night, December 9th. The warning includes the following counties: Taylor, Clark, Buffalo, Trempealeau, Jackson, LaCrosse, Monroe, Juneau, Adams, Vernon, Crawford, Richland, Grant, Marquette, Green Lake, Fond du Lac, Sheboygan, Sauk, Columbia, Dodge, Washington, Iowa, Dane, Jefferson, Lafayette, Green, Rock, Chippewa, Dunn, Pierce, Eau Claire and Dunn, Marathon, Shawano, Wood, Portage, Waupaca, Outagamie, Brown, Kewaunee, Waushara, Winnebago, Calumet, Manitowoc, Marinette, Oconto, Menominee, and Door. The remainder of the State remains under a Winter Storm Warning. The National Weather Service advises that falling and blowing snow with strong winds will create poor visibilities that will lead to whiteout conditions. Travel will be extremely dangerous. Travel is not recommended.

Governor's State of Emergency - Governor Doyle declared a State of Emergency for all 72 counties. The declaration calls to active duty elements of the Wisconsin National Guard and instructs all state agencies to assist in any response or recovery efforts that may be required.

Wisconsin Emergency Management - The State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) was activated beginning at 8:00 a.m. and continues to monitor the weather situation. Staff from Department of Military Affairs, Wisconsin Emergency Management, Department of Transportation, State Patrol and the National Weather Service is in the EOC. Regional Directors are making contact with County Emergency Management Directors. Three counties have partially activated their EOC's.

Joint Operations Center - Ten National Guard facilities with vehicles will be manned beginning at 0600 hours on Wednesday for at least two shifts. One air crew has been placed on standby also beginning at 0600 hours.

Department of Transportation - Participated on a conference call with State Patrol. Highway 51/Interstate 39 was reported very dangerous. DOT message boards were utilized to warn motorists of the treacherous conditions. They will work to keep the Interstate and an alternate route open.

State Patrol - Coordinating with local governments and the State Operations Center to handle any road closures. Have been discussing the plan on when and if to close the interstate system. Coordinating with the National Guard on assistance that they could provide. Warning people and trying to discourage all travel. Reports no major incidents.

Department of Natural Resources - Conducted a web conference call with wardens. All Regional Wardens have been placed on standby. They are trying to get half of the wardens on standby, and are establishing staffing for shift changes. They are monitoring the situation via e-sponder. Staff will report to the EOC beginning at 8:00 p.m.

Public Information - Continues to conduct media interviews.

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UPDATED Tuesday, December 8, 2009 --- 4:40 p.m.

Situation - The National Weather Service has issued a Blizzard Warning until midnight on Wednesday night, December 9th. The warning includes the following counties: Taylor, Clark, Buffalo, Trempealeau, Jackson, LaCrosse, Monroe, Juneau, Adams, Vernon, Crawford, Richland, Grant, Marquette, Green Lake, Fond du Lac, Sheboygan, Sauk, Columbia, Dodge, Washington, Iowa, Dane, Jefferson, Lafayette, Green, Rock, Chippewa, Pierce, Eau Claire, Marathon, Shawano, Wood, Portage, Waupaca, Outagamie, Brown, Kewaunee, Waushara, Winnebago, Calumet, Manitowoc, Menomonee, Marinette, Wood, Oconto and Dunn. Blizzard warnings are being considered for additional counties. The remainder of the State remains under a Winter Storm Warning. The National Weather Service advises that falling and blowing snow with strong winds will create poor visibilities that will lead to whiteout conditions. Travel will be extremely dangerous. Travel is not recommended.

Wisconsin Emergency Management - The State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) was activated beginning at 8:00 a.m. and continues to monitor the weather situation. Staff from Department of Military Affairs, Wisconsin Emergency Management, Department of Transportation, State Patrol and the National Weather Service is in the EOC. WEM is coordinating with the National Guard and the Department of Natural Resources regarding available assets in the event they are needed.

Department of Transportation - There were earlier incidents on Highway 41 and Highway 53, but both have been cleared. There are no other incidents reported.

State Patrol - Report no major incidents.

Department of Natural Resources - Staff will report to the EOC beginning at 8:00 p.m.

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Posted Tuesday, December 8, 2009 --- 12:29 p.m.

Information from Wisconsin Emergency Management:

SITUATION REPORT #1 ON WINTER WEATHER

Wisconsin Emergency Management - The State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) was activated beginning at 8:00 a.m. today with minimal staffing to monitor the winter storm. Staff from Department of Military Affairs, Wisconsin Emergency Management, Department of Transportation, and the State Patrol are in the EOC.

Department of Transportation and State Patrol - Report no incidents in the Southeast and Southwest Regions. There have been some minor slide-offs have been reported in the Southwest Region. Oversized and overweight trucking permits have not been suspended.


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