Racine County prepares for big snow

CREATED Dec. 13, 2013

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RACINE - A very light snowfall moved into Racine County around 5:00 p.m. Friday.  After last Sunday's mess on I-94, the people of Racine are doing what they can to be ready for it.  Some are a bit on edge. 

“Yeah, that was a terrible thing, ya know?  It’s kinda strange for Wisconsin drivers. We’re usually pretty good about the snow, ya know. People know we don’t have, ‘cause when’s the last time you had a pileup on 94 like that?' " questioned Mike Nowak, Racine resident.
 
Ahead of the predicted four-to-six inches, Nowak and so many others in Racine bought some weather-related items at the hardware store Friday.
 
“I’m picking up some oil to change the oil in my snow blower and uh, this is a pan to keep the oil from running all over the floor," said Mike Gibbs, Racine resident.
 
“We’re getting some furnace air filters and some great stuff, ‘cause we got a little crack that we need to seal up, uh, can feel the draft coming in," said Jeremy Holm, Racine resident.
 
Customers in Racine were busy buying shovels today, and it’s one of those purchases that you’ve really got to take it off the shelf and test it out.
 
“They’re lightweight. They just push right along the cement really easily," said Kristin Wilson, who lives in Racine.
 
“We’re not supposed to get that much snow, so I’m thinking I can handle it with this," said Mike Nowak with a laugh.
 
While they seem to have their driveways and sidewalks covered, Sheriff's deputies say they're fully staffed for whatever happens on the roads.  Sgt. William Nattke says if you're in an accident, call 911 and look for a mile marker number.
 
“Give them specific location as to where you’re at, again with Sunday’s events, we had that many accidents stretched out over probably nine miles of interstate, so trying to find one vehicle out of all the vehicles that were out there was rather difficult," said Sgt. Mattke.

Last week, so many people in those pileups sought refuge at a Citgo gas station off Highway 20 and I-94.

“Ah, it was crazy," said Steve Basil, a gas station attendant.
 
Basil recounts how tow trucks dropped dozens of cars in his parking lot while dazed drivers waited inside to file police reports.
 
“It was like a triage in here. I mean, there was people everywhere and scrambling around and calling people to come pick them up and how they’re gonna get their cars out of here and it was crazy," said Basil.

Basil said he didn't see many injuries on people, but their cars were pretty banged up.  Tows trucks dropped between 20-30 vehicles in the Citgo gas station parking lot.

Sgt. Mattke has been putting together all the accident reports.  A total of 84 vehicles were towed off the highway that day.
 
“A lot of them started that it was near white out conditions, but cars were still going about 45 ,55 miles an hour. That’s way too fast if you can only see a couple hundred feet in front of you," said Sgt. Mattke.

So, slow down.