Shoppers and commuters battle the winter weather

By: Matt Hoffman Email
By: Matt Hoffman Email

Many people hit the roads on Friday. Whether it be for work, heading home from Thanksgiving, or hitting up all the Black Friday deals at area stores. No matter the case...the weather was not your friend. A combination of snow, driving winds, and cold temperatures has officially ushered in the beginning of the winter driving season.

Road conditions improved throughout the day. The combination of light snow on top of wet roadways freezing from the tumbling temperatures made for some slick pavement mainly on side roads and parking lots. According to the state patrol that was enough to make for a few minor incidents this morning.

"We are getting to that season now that we need to start paying attention to the roadway. The weather may be fine where you're at but by the time you get to where you are going conditions can change dramatically in a short period of time," says state patrolman Sgt. Dave Fish.

Stacy Zindars and her family saw that first hand. They are traveling through Eau Claire from Milwaukee. Slick roads weren't the problem on the was the wind. "Luckily once you get in the vehicle it's not so bad other than the gusts of wind that have been blowing us around the road today."

Sgt. Fish and says with gusty winds like this it is important to give semi drivers space. "Because if a gust of wind would come by it is possible the semis could move a couple feet just by the wind."
"I was in Minnesota this morning and I saw some people getting cut off that shouldn't have been and not following a safe distance," said Eau Claire driver Ben Stashek.

"Watch your following distances. Always wear your seat belt and pay attention to where you're are going so if you do end up going in the ditch or getting involved in a crash we can get there quicker if we know exactly where you're at," says Sgt. Fish. He says you also need to be sure to clear and scrape off all your windows along with license plates and lights. Something Stashek saw a few people not doing on the roads today.

"I think it's very unsafe. You need to clear off your windshield so you can see. Scrape the side windows so you can see. Otherwise, you’re going to get into an accident.

One more reminder from Sgt. Fish, there is several construction projects going on in the area so when it comes to winter weather...he says to be extra cautious in those areas and make sure to just slow down.

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