Cars are seen off the side of the road that evidently spun out on I-43 northbound at N. Port Washington Rd. near Port Washington, Wis., Sunday, Dec. 22, 2013.

Mike De Sisti, Associated Press - Ap

Storm dumps several inches of snow on Wisconsin

  • Associated Press
  • December 22, 2013 - 4:25 PM

MILWAUKEE — A winter storm brought heavy snow to a wide swath of Wisconsin on a busy travel and shopping day Sunday.

Most locations around Green Bay, the Fox Valley and Lake Michigan got 3 to 5 inches of snow, the National Weather Service said, while Milwaukee got about 9 inches and Madison, Manitowoc, Pewaukee and Sun Prairie received 7 by early afternoon. Another inch was possible in some areas, the weather service said.

Winter storm warnings and advisories covered much of Wisconsin from the southwest to the northeast corners of the state Sunday morning but all were lifted by mid-afternoon. Lake effect snow warnings and advisories were out through Monday evening along the south shore of Lake Superior, where totals of more than a foot were possible, the weather service said.

The storm meant a slow drive for many Packers fans headed to Green Bay for Sunday's home game. Poor travel conditions were expected to continue into the afternoon for much of central and eastern Wisconsin, so travelers were urged to use caution or wait until roads improved. Milwaukee, Madison, Ashland and several other cities imposed parking restrictions until streets could be cleared.

"The plows are trying to keep up, but poor driving conditions will likely continue through much of the day. ... It's hard for crews when the snowfall is as heavy as it is now, almost an inch an hour," Wisconsin Emergency Management official Tom Pritchard said Sunday morning.

Milwaukee County deputies responded to over 100 crashes and disabled vehicles amid the snow, including one that resulted in minor injuries to a deputy.

The deputy was responding to a crash on Interstate 94 around 10:30 a.m. when another car spun out in front of him, the sheriff's office said. He slowed down and activated his flashing lights to warn oncoming traffic, but an SUV slammed into the back of his squad car. The deputy suffered neck and head pain, and was treated and released from a local hospital. Nobody in the SUV was hurt, but the driver was ticketed for following too close.

The snow barely put a dent in the crowd at the Kohl Center in Madison for the University of Wisconsin's graduation ceremony, where more than 1,100 students received their degrees.

Chancellor Rebecca Blank congratulated the graduates, family and friends who packed the 17,230-seat arena for simply showing up on such a wintry day.

"I didn't know how many people we'd have today," Blank told them.

Dozens of churches canceled Sunday services throughout eastern Wisconsin.

A few flight delays were reported into and out of Milwaukee's Mitchell International Airport as of around midday, with several flights to and from Chicago canceled.

© 2014 Star Tribune