Officials prepare for dangerous cold, wind

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Catherine W. Idzerda
Saturday, January 25, 2014

JANESVILLE—It's not often that the Wisconsin Department of Transportation suggests canceling or delaying travel plans.

But at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, the WisDOT's State Traffic Operations Center sent out a news release warning travelers to plan for “freezing and potential life-threatening cold.”

“Motorists may want to cancel or delay travel plans” today, the news release said.

Meanwhile the National Weather Service in Sullivan has issued:

—A winter weather advisory that will remain in effect until 6 a.m. Monday. Three to five inches of snow were expected to fall between Saturday night and this morning.

—A wind chill advisory starting Monday and running through noon Wednesday. Wind chills are forecast to be between 20 to 35 degrees below zero Sunday night and Monday. Monday night and Tuesday the wind chills are expected to be between 35 and 50 degrees below zero.

—A hazardous weather advisory, which combines the worst elements of the winter weather and wind chill advisory. This afternoon, “gusty northwest winds will develop” causing blowing and drifting of freshly fallen snow.

The Rock County Sheriff's Department suggests that people who must travel:

—Keep a charged cell phone with them.

—Keep your gas tank at least half full at all times.

—Tell family and friends what your travel plans are and when you expect to arrive.

—Carry food, water, a flashlight and blankets with you.

—Remember that pets are susceptible to frostbite, too, and should be kept inside during dangerously low temperatures.

The sheriff's department is working with the American Red Cross to set up warming shelters. Daytime warming shelters include:

—Janesville Public Library, 316 South Main Street, Janesville. Hours are 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

—The Shelter, for men only, 407 W. Van Buren St., Janesville, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., daily.

Overnight shelters include:

—House of Mercy, for women, children and families only, 320 Lincoln St., Janesville. Visitors must register for an overnight stay before 6 p.m. by calling (608) 754-0045.

—GIFTS, the men's homeless shelter, will be at Roxbury Road Church, 2103 Roxbury Road, Janesville starting Sunday.

Last updated: 9:10 pm Saturday, January 25, 2014

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