The Wood County Emergency Management Agency has issued a winter weather alert for this week.
On Thursday morning by 6 a.m. there is a chance of light snow or a rain/snow mix changing to all rain by 9 a.m. continuing throughout the day.
Rain is expected to change to snow Friday morning around 2 a.m. and continue throughout the day.
Temperature will fall from 36F at midnight Friday to 10F by 8 a.m.
With the rain Thursday and fast temperature drop, the roads will not have time to dry before freezing. During the morning commute drivers will likely be faced with 45-55 mph winds with gusts 60mph+ on roads with snow over ice.
Friday morning road conditions are expected to be extremely hazardous.
Winds will continue Saturday with temperatures 15-20 degrees below normal throughout the weekend.
Jeff Klein, Wood County EMA director, expressed concerns that dangerous winds and ice will make many roads impassable with whiteout/blizzard conditions.
Electrical lines may come down due to wind and ice, waterlines may break, and dangerous windchills may be experienced for those who are outside or lose power and/or heat.
Wood County wind chills will be -10F for 36- 48 hours, he said, and winds will be similar to what was experienced during the Blizzard of ’78.
He advised if you don’t have to be outside, do not leave home.
If you do go out and have an issue (accident/slide off the road), have supplies to be prepared to wait several hours or more for a tow truck.
Make sure people know where you are going and estimated arrival time in case you do not arrive and make sure your destination is open and/or accessible.
Klein suggested these precautions:
Secure loose outdoor items including holiday decorations.
Prepare for power outages: extra fuel for generators, make sure they start and whoever will be using them knows the correct, safe operating procedures.
Have sufficient food and supplies for the weekend.
Prepare for your pet’s needs.
Check on your neighbors to make sure they are safe.
Consider changing travel plans to avoid driving on Friday.
The National Weather Service (NWS) will be providing updates on social media throughout this event. The Wood County EMA will provide updates via email and social media. The primary concern will be the combination of the hazardous road conditions (high winds over snow over ice) as well as the extreme cold.
The EMA will continue to monitor and provide updates as appropriate.