La Crosse residents brave icy conditions following freezing rain

Icy conditions hit La Crosse

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) - Even though the freezing rain fell in the early hours of Tuesday morning, it was still coating the roadways and sidewalks for most of the day. Crews in La Crosse were busy getting salt down on the ground, especially in parking lots, where some private plow company employees said conditions were the worst.

"This is my second load of salt right now," said Ryan Klich, an employee of Property One.

Klich started his day before 5 a.m. and laid down salt at about 20 properties. 

"The main roads are fine. Just the parking lots are super icy and they're horrible," Klich said. 

Even people not headed out to their car were exercising a lot of caution, including Erik Dahl, a University of Wisconsin La Crosse student who had an early-morning class. 

"It was pretty icy. A lot of black ice. I actually fell right on that corner. It was pretty bad," Dahl said. 

While he has a sense of humor about it now, he's planning on taking his time getting to campus.

"It makes it hard. I mean, I saw a lot of people slipping and sliding. But yeah, we'll get there," Dahl said. 

It's important to go slowly, especially with freezing rain, which can occur when temperatures up in the clouds are warmer but surfaces near the ground are right around 32 degrees.

"The precipitation falls as liquid and the minute it reaches the ground and that colder surface, it freezes on contact," said Storm Team 8 meteorologist Bill Graul.

Luckily, common road salt is most effective between 10 and 30 degrees. Some municipalities will even pretreat the highways and main roads in preparation for the winter weather.

"Of course, the untreated roads, sidewalks and parking lots were a different story with that ice accumulation," Graul said.

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