Officials: Snowfall tangles afternoon commute, but snow is letting up
JANESVILLE—Janesville and Rock County authorities say that a sloppy afternoon commute full of ice and snow on roadways was responsible for dozens of crashes and slide offs this evening.
Reports of vehicle crashes and slide offs have tapered off as snows have begun to let up this evening and temperatures have begun to drop off. But earlier this afternoon, the county’s emergency dispatch was dealing with “dozens” of accidents throughout the county, a Rock County 911 dispatcher said.
The heaviest snowfall came between 3 p.m. and 5:30 p.m., just as motorists were heading home from the workday.
Snow totals in downtown Janesville have topped just over 1.5 inches so far this evening, but moderate winds caused drifting in some rural areas of the county. Temperatures were hovering around freezing, making road surfaces treacherously slippery.
Hills in Janesville and Milton were tricky for motorists as some people got stuck trying to power uphill on slick pavement, while other drivers had their vehicles slide through intersections glazed over with ice, said Janesville Police Lt. Rick Larson and Milton Police Chief Dan Layber.
Larson said that the rate of accidents during the worst of was “worse than normal” He estimated about 15 crashes throughout Janesville during the afternoon commute. He said most of the accidents were minor fender-benders.
Layber said he was getting reports of people’s vehicles sliding backwards down steeper hills around the outskirts of Milton.
Janesville School Board canceled a meeting tonight because of the weather, but a city council meeting in Milton went on as planned.
As city of Milton road crews pushed snow off roads, and police scurried to calls of crashes and runoffs the Milton City Council approved putting a city splash park project out to bid.