UPDATE: Eau Claire plows work through night in wake of storm

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) The Chippewa Valley received a fresh blanket of snow Thursday, with a few to several inches in some places

A City of Eau Claire snow plow heads south on Hastings Way on Thursday, after several inches of snow fell on the city.

Snow plows for the City of Eau Claire were out on the streets at early as 5 a.m., working to keep the roads as clear as possible. Steve Thompson, street maintenance manager for Eau Claire, said his team doubled up the number of trucks on the main roads and planned to keep going well into the night.

"We'll continue to work this evening on our main arterials. Try to get them cleaned up and ready for tomorrow,” Thompson said to WEAU 13 News on Thursday. “At midnight tonight (Friday) – since we did about 2 to 3 inches of snow in the residential areas – we're going to do a full residential plow for all the city streets."

Eau Claire Police told WEAU 13 News they reported at least 10 crashes in the city since early Thursday afternoon as a result of the snowfall. That's not counting the rest of Eau Claire County and the slippery highways and interstates. Officer Bridget Coit with Eau Claire Police reminds drivers to take it slow in these conditions.

"This is by far the biggest snow amount for the year and so that brings other complexities to the road ways that drivers are going to have to navigate,” she said to WEAU 13 News on Thursday. “So we're just asking them to slow down, take your time, and if possible, stay home."

Winter weather is back after a brief stretch of mild weather so far this work week. A wintry mix is still possible with a few areas of freezing rain but mainly snow and especially this afternoon we should be seeing mostly snow.

Drivers can expect some slippery stretches especially on secondary roads as temperatures continue to fall through the afternoon. This morning we were in the mid 30s but quickly through the afternoon temperatures will fall into the 10s. Snow of varying intensity is then expected to generally continue through the afternoon before exiting by the early evening hours. This means the evening commute may also prove a bit challenging, though much of the snow will be over.

Most counties in our part of the state are under winter weather advisories with a winter storm warning to the north including Price and Sawyer counties through Thursday with the anticipated impacts to travel. The current snowfall forecast has a narrow swath of 4-6" of accumulation stretching from northeast to southwest, just east of Eau Claire. The city currently looks to pick up around 3-4" of accumulation. Areas outside of this main band may see only a few inches at most so the higher amounts may end up being fairly localized.

So far snowfall totals are around an inch in Winona, and half an inch or less in Eau Claire, La Crosse and Withee. But, with more heavy bands of snow on the way, totals may quickly rise.

Regardless of total accumulations, while out on the roads pay attention to changing conditions and allow extra time to get to your destination. In addition to falling snow, increasing and gusty winds will lead to blowing snow and lower visibility.

Once this system departs, arctic air really takes hold and we are facing another stretch of very cold weather that will continue through this next weekend.

You can get our latest updates on this winter weather on WEAU 13 NEWS throughout the day, on the WEAU 13 NEWS app, here on WEAU.com, and the WEAU Facebook page.

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@weaumaier (Darren Maier)
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