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Travel not advised due to drifting, ice on roads


WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) -- Travelers are being asked to stay off the roads unless absolutely necessary. Marathon County Sheriff’s Department deputies and the county’s Highway Department have been out around the clock, and the blowing and drifting snow is causing problems.

The north-south roads are very difficult to keep clear. Highway Commissioner James Griesbach says some of the drifts are taller than the vehicles, especially between Highway 13 and Highway 107 in northwestern Marathon County. I-39 and Highway 51 are passable, but in poor condition due to crusted ice and snow from Thursday’s storm and continued blowing and drifting. There has been a large number of slide-offs and crashes since the Thursday storm began.

Chief Deputy Sheriff Chad Billeb says motorists should avoid contacting the county’s emergency dispatch centers with questions about road conditions, as our Public Safety Telecommunicators have been very busy handling emergency-related calls. He says for road information, the state’s website is the best tool to use. If you absolutely must travel, Billeb says to make sure you have a winter survival kit and cellular phone with you, reduce your speed, and be considerate of other motorists.