Dane County to Close Offices Thursday and Friday Due to Blizzard
December 19, 2012
Casey Slaughter Becker, Office of the County Executive 608.267.8823 or cell, 608.843.8858
Heavy Snow, Strong Winds, Whiteouts, Ice Among Concerns
The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning, effective today (Wednesday) at 6pm until Noon on Thursday. The NWS has also issued a blizzard warning for Dane County effective Thursday, December 20th from Noon until Midnight.
Current forecasts predict a long duration event with heavy snow between Wednesday night and Thursday afternoon, blizzard conditions to follow with wind gusts up to 45 miles per hour that will create drifting and whiteouts, and ice that could make certain roads difficult to navigate or impassable.
While recent forecasts have indicated the potential of a rain/snow mix Thursday morning, forecasts still show a potential for snow accumulation of more than 16 inches in the Madison area. This rapid transition to heavy snow, combined with strong winds, could create dangerous traffic conditions until mid-afternoon on Frida.
Given these current forecasts, Dane County will close non-essential services and the Dane County Courthouse on Thursday, December 20th and Friday, December 21st. Normal county operations will resume on Wednesday, December 26th.
The decision to close non-essential services errs on the side of safety and will keep the cars of county employees off the roads during critical storm clean up efforts – a consideration that the county hopes other major employers will make as well. The Dane County Sheriff's Office is also recommending that individuals refrain from travel until the storm has subsided.
Public safety services performed by the Dane County Sheriff’s Department, the Dane County Highway Department, and the 911 center will continue to operate as normal through the blizzard. Sheriff’s deputies will continue patrols and snow-plowing crews will continue efforts to clear highways and roads.
The Dane County Executive’s Office along with the Departments of Emergency Management, Public Works and Highway, and the Sheriff’s Office will monitor the blizzard throughout its duration. The Dane County Emergency Operations Center will be staffed through the night to assist with coordinating response to the storm.