Police urge people to stay home, use extreme caution when driving

For anyone out traveling on the roads tonight, first responders are urging you to use extreme caution. While snow removal crews continue to work to clear the roads, snow and ice are making the roads dangerous for drivers.

The snow started to fall around 8 p.m. on Monday. Since then, it has piled up to 9.6 inches at La Crosse Regional Airport.

That’s why the La Crosse Police Department is urging people to stay home if possible.

But if you do have to travel, give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination. Leave plenty of space between your vehicle and the vehicle ahead of you, in case you need to stop.

And make sure to keep your headlights on, for your own safety and the safety of others.

Since the beginning of the snowstorm, the police department has responded to dozens of incidents related to road conditions.

“We’ve had seven crashes in the city of La Crosse. And more importantly, we’ve had to respond to 52 stalled motorists– motorists that are getting stuck in the snow and different things along those lines,” said Sgt. Tom Walsh of the La Crosse Police Department.

Between 3 p.m. Monday and 11 a.m. Tuesday, Wisconsin State Patrol responded to 93 vehicle runoffs. It responded to 22 property damage crashes and 11 personal injury crashes across the state.

Crews have been working around the clock to clear as much of the snow as possible, but there are still lots of slick spots.

The city of La Crosse’s street department has a certain procedure to follow when there are more than 3 inches of snow.

They’ll prioritize clearing the highways and main roads, like La Crosse Street or Copeland Avenue. They may salt highways or throw down sand on residential intersections and hills. Crews will also clear off “collector streets,” which moves traffic to more main roads.

The streets department said it was able to finish clearing those primary routes around 10 a.m., before moving on to the side streets. But they weren’t able to finish those side streets until about 2:30 Tuesday afternoon.

The streets department said it will be replowing the entire city on Tuesday evening, starting at midnight. It will then cut back again on Wednesday night or Thursday morning.

To help crews, make sure you’re parking on the correct side of the street for alternate side parking. That will also avoid a parking ticket.

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