Winter storm wreaks havoc on power lines and school busses - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Winter storm wreaks havoc on power lines and school busses

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Eau Claire (WQOW) - It's been a winter that doesn't seem to want to end Friday's storm dropped more than seven inches of snow and that caused problems for just about everyone.

It was close to white out conditions in some places wreaking havoc on power lines and school busses.

"it has been pretty crazy," said Julie Simon, Senior Director of Xcel Energy's field operations

As of 2:30 Friday Xcel Energy had more than 120  downed power lines affecting almost 10,000 customers.

"It's been a long slow process today because of the heavy wet snow," said Simon. "Trees come down on the lines and our linemen go out and patrol the lines and find out where the line is down so it's been pretty slow."

They hope to have everyone back with power by midnight Friday but mother nature might not let that happen.

"The wind presents a challenge because when we get a line back in power, it will come back out of power because we'll get another branch down," said Simon.

Getting the power back wasn't the only challenge for residents in the Chippewa Valley so was getting to and from school.

"The temperature was just right and the heavy wet snow made it a challenging morning," said Jim Fey, Vice President of Student Transit. "We had about 15 to 18 busses that were actually stuck at one time, but only about eight of those had to be towed by one of our shop personnel in order to get them going again."

Just as we hoped spring was actually here to stay, Friday felt like mid February.

"It does start to take a toll after a while and you try to be positive but we're just really looking forward to some seventy degree days," said Fey.

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