Madison, Janesville, Beloit, others declare snow emergencies as snow pummels southern Wisconsin

Several inches of snow covered much of region.
Wisconsin cities declare snow emergencies on January 25, 2021, ahead of predicted snowfall.
Wisconsin cities declare snow emergencies on January 25, 2021, ahead of predicted snowfall.(KJCT)
Published: Jan. 25, 2021 at 10:38 AM CST|Updated: Jan. 26, 2021 at 8:51 AM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - With heavy snow pounding much of southern Wisconsin on Tuesday morning, many communities are under a snow emergency to help facilitate getting all of that snow off the streets.

According to the NBC15 First Alert team, the overnight storm shifted north and will leave behind even more snow than anticipated. Madison could end up with 4″-7″ while even more is expected as you approach the Illinois border. On the other hand, the northern reaches of the region may not see any snow at all.

You can track the winter storm rolling through on the NBC15 First Alert weather app, with hour-by-hour forecasts and interactive radar so you can follow it in real time. Available for iOS or Android.

Here’s a list of cities that have declared snow emergencies. In many cases, drivers can receive fines for violations or have their vehicles towed.


In Beloit, the snow emergency is expected to start at 6 p.m. and will last until 8 p.m. Tuesday. During that time, all residents are advised not to park on the street and, instead, leave their vehicles in their driveway or in one of the city’s approved off-site parking lots.

“Beloit snow removal crew members rely on local residents to move the vehicles so they can clear snow from all streets during bigger snow events,” Beloit Public Works Director Laura Pigatti Williamson said, reminding everyone that the plow drivers will be out all night clearing the roads for drivers.

The city has a map of designated snow emergency areas and designated parking locations on its website.


As one of those cities expected to be on the higher end of the predicted snowfall, Janesville declared a snow emergency for Monday night early in the day. A statement from the city indicated the emergency will go into effect at 10 p.m.

During the emergency, vehicles are not allowed to be parked along city streets. Ones that are may be ticketed. City officials recommend people park in their driveway or garage, if possible. Those that cannot are asked to take advantage of the city’s municipal parking garages, which are opened during emergencies.

According to the city, it will focus on main and arterial streets during the heaviest snowfall overnight, before moving on to residential streets Tuesday afternoon, as the snow dies down.


The City of Madison declared a snow emergency shortly before 9 a.m., saying it will be in effect until 7 a.m. on Thursday. As part of the snow emergency, odd side parking will be in effect Tuesday night. More information about the snow emergency is available here.

Streets Superintendent Charlie Romines warns travel in Madison on Tuesday morning will be “extremely difficult” because of the snow and asks residents to avoid any unnecessary trips. Anyone who does go out will need to give plenty of extra time to get where they are going.

The city asks everyone to park off street, if possible, and those who can’t are reminded to follow all posted parking restrictions to make it easier for plow drivers.

City officials plan to start plowing efforts in earnest as the storm winds down. At that time, they will have approximately 150 pieces of plowing equipment out clearing the snow, between the city’s workforce and private contractors.

With nearly 1,800 miles of traffic lanes needing to be plowed, it will likely take 12-16 hours, well into Tuesday night, for all streets are clear.

Madison Transit said its buses will be running and it expects them to be either on time or slightly delayed. It asks everyone to be careful making it to their bus stop and says if someone can’t get all of the way to the stop, they can go somewhere safe and wave at the driver as they approach.


In the Village of Marshall, the snow emergency will go into effect at 9:00 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 25 and will run through noon on Tuesday, Jan. 26.

Street parking on all Village street is prohibited during the snow emergency or until it has been cancelled. City officials recommend residents who have no off-street parking to utilize municipal parking lots in Veteran’s Park on Farnham St. / Howard St. or the municipal parking lot on Main Street. Otherwise, the City suggests making arrangements with neighbors, relatives or friends to avoid a potential $30 fine and having their vehicle towed at the owner’s expense.

Citizens are encouraged to monitor the Marshall Police Department Facebook or the Village of Marshall Facebook page and website for current snow alerts and notifications.


A snow emergency in Stoughton does not mean people won’t be allowed to park in the street at all; however, they will have to pay attention to which side of the road they park on. The emergency goes into effect at midnight, i.e. Monday night into Tuesday, and stay in effect for the next two nights.

As part of the snow emergency, the city will require even/odd parking from Midnight to 8 a.m. That means people need to park on the even side of the road on even-numbered dates and the odd side of the road on odd-numbered dates. For example, this first night of the snow emergency, because it goes into effect at midnight, will be on Jan. 26, so people parking overnight Monday night will need to park on the even side of the street.

More information on the snow emergency parking ordinance is available at


The snow emergency begins in Sun Prairie at 8 a.m. and will last until 11 p.m. During that time, no parking will be allowed on city streets.

Drivers who cannot park in a driveway or otherwise off-street are allowed to use municipal parking lots and Merchant Square during the emergency.


In Watertown, the snow emergency will go into effect Monday at 6 p.m. and is expected to last until Wednesday morning. City officials are expecting between three and five inches of snow in that time.

During a snow emergency, on-street parking is prohibited between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. Those who don’t have a place to park their vehicles besides the street are asked to use on of the city’s municipal garages.

Several cities had declared snow emergencies over the weekend because of snowy forecasts. Those were allowed to lapse. If those cities or any other local communities declare a snow emergency on Monday, NBC15 will update this story with their latest information.

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