MILWAUKEE — An intense winter storm has dumped more than a foot of snow in some parts of Wisconsin and whipped up winds, creating treacherous travel conditions.
In northwestern Wisconsin, firefighters rescued a man pinned underneath the collapsed awning of his mobile home in Altoona early Friday. He was treated at the hospital for a leg injury, officials said.
In nearby Eau Claire, a 75-square-foot section of the Kmart roof collapsed under the weight of heavy snow Thursday evening, puncturing a gas line and ruining merchandise, police said. The store closed indefinitely.
Eau Clair Police spokesman Kyle Rode said the also storm toppled trees and power lines and cars got stuck driving through town.
Eighteen inches of new snow piled up in Douglas County in the northwest by noon Friday, with lesser amounts elsewhere. Strong winds whipped up whiteout conditions in rural areas.
Superior got 18 inches of snow, Brule 16 inches and Maple 15 inches, the Wisconsin Emergency Operations Center said.
Light snow or flurries continued in parts of northwestern Wisconsin Friday night, National Weather Service meteorologist Kevin Huyck said. But winds in that area continue to be strong, with Ashland reporting a gust of 30 mph.
Roads in northern and northwestern Wisconsin were still covered with snow by mid-afternoon Friday. Crews used a road grader to scrape ice off of westbound Interstate 94 near Eau Claire where semis were having trouble getting up hills.
Temperatures started to drop in northwestern Wisconsin. Hayward was expected to bottom out around zero early Saturday.
Wisconsinites grew weary of the prolonged pattern of alternating snow and cold this winter.
"I think the weather is as mean as it can get," said Dwight Roberts, 74, as he waited for a bus in downtown Milwaukee. "It's the worst I've seen."
Some school districts canceled another day of classes Friday, including Eau Claire, Altoona, Bloomer and Neillsville.
The heavy snow and high wind pulled down utility lines. Xcel Energy crews worked in adverse conditions to restore power to 58,000 customers in Wisconsin and Minnesota since the weather began deteriorating Thursday evening. Utility workers in rural areas were blocked by roads that were impassable, Xcel said. About 1,700 Wisconsin customers remained without service as of midafternoon Friday.
"Between the rain, the snow, the sleet, I've had enough," bemoaned Mikey Fleming, 34, a geophysics student at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. "I want to move to California at this point."