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ALERT: Travel not advised on Wisconsin roadways

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The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) and the State Patrol are advising motorists not to travel on northwest Wisconsin highways the remainder of the day, unless absolutely necessary.

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The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning in several counties until midnight. Heavy, wet snow is creating whiteout conditions in some areas, primarily to the west of Eau Claire. However, that snow is expected to move east and north the rest of the day.

By the time the storm moves through the area, 6-10 inches of snow is expected to fall.

Motorists who must travel are advised to monitor weather and road conditions before leaving.

WisDOT traffic safety officials offer the following advice for safe driving during severe winter weather:

To check on the latest winter road conditions, call 511, or view this information on the Web at http://www.511wi.gov/Web/ Dial 911 only for emergency situations.

Make sure your gas tank is full and you have some food, warm blankets and clothing in the vehicle in case of emergency. If you have a cell phone, make sure it's fully charged and working.

Tell others about your travel route and itinerary, so that if you don't arrive at your destination, they can contact law enforcement officers and inform them where to look.

Keep others informed if you're going to be late or encounter problems so they won't worry needlessly.

It's safer to travel with passengers and convoy with other vehicles than it is to drive alone.

Remember, the speed limit is based on clear roads and dry pavement--don't drive too fast for conditions.

Watch for slippery spots on bridges and overpasses.

Take note of mileposts, exit numbers or crossroads in case you slide off the road or are involved in a crash so that law enforcement officers and tow truck operators can find you.

If the storm makes driving too hazardous or if your car breaks down, stay in the vehicle. Run your engine and heater for short intervals to stay warm. Be sure to crack the window.

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