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9:30 p.m.Travel Update: It's getting worse


The following update from the Wisconsin State Patrol is the latest information as of 9:30 p.m. Thursday, December 20th.

WAUSAU, WI  (WSAU-WSP)  -  Driving conditions remain hazardous throughout the state overnight.

A winter storm warning remains in effect for large portions of the state through Friday morning(December 21) with hazardous travel expected to continue through Friday afternoon. As snowfalldiminishes during the overnight hours, wind speeds will increase with potential gusts in excess of 50 miles per hour resulting in whiteout conditions and hazardous driving. Temperatures will fallthroughout the night, with wind chills below zero in western parts of the state and into the teens ineastern parts of the state. Driving is especially treacherous tonight and could have life- threatening impacts. Motorists are advised to cancel or delay travel plans.

The heaviest precipitation will continue tonight in the band from south-central Wisconsin runningnortheast through Madison, the Fox Valley and Green Bay.

In the overnight hours, snow plowing and salting operations may be reduced for brief periods insome parts of the state. This is being done to give plow operators necessary rest.  Multiple incidents have been reported statewide throughout the day and continuing into the eveninghours. 

Interstate and state highway travelers are likely to find travel through Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa andMinnesota very difficult and may encounter life-threatening conditions. Travelers in vehicles thatare disabled or run off the road may be stranded for an extended period of time during the overnight hours. Drivers should be well prepared with a fully charged cell phone, clothing and blankets, water, and food for this situation. In addition, oversize/overweight permits are currently suspended. Motor carriers may check the DOT website for further information.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation advises that travelers check winter road conditionsbefore leaving home by calling 5-1-1 or visiting Wisconsin 511 online at www.511wi.gov.Additional winter driving tips can be found on the WisDOT Web site atwww.dot.wisconsin.gov/safety/motorist/winterdriving/index.htm.