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Icy weather welcomes holidays
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MONROE - If Wednesday night was a sample of the holiday weekend forecast road crews have their work cut out for them.

A mixture of rain, ice and snow is expected over the next couple of days and road crews expect to stay busy.

"We probably won't have much of a Christmas," Lafayette Highway Commissioner Tom Jean said, with a laugh.

High winds likely played a part in damaging an American Transmission Company power line, which delivers electricity into Monroe, said Scott Reigstad, an Alliant Energy spokesman. Damaged to the line knocked out power to about 5,000 homes on the west side of Monroe and the downtown area from about 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The evening storm also brought rain and ice-covered road conditions.

The National Weather Service predicts periods of rain, possibly mixed with freezing rain today. Temperatures are expected to be in the mid-30s.

Today's rain could be followed by periods of rain and snow tonight into Friday morning. More snow also is expected throughout the day Friday, however little or no accumulation of snow is expected today and less than an inch of snow is expected Friday.

Green County Highway Commissioner Dallas Cecil said highway crews will just have to wait to see what develops.

"We'll stay out as long as the roads are bad," Cecil said.

If there is ice on the roads, highway crews can stay out all night, he said. If there is snow only, crews can stay out until 10 p.m.

"We don't want to leave ice out there (on the roads)," he said.

Highway crews won't salt early because vehicles would blow the salt off the road, he said.

Jean said his department will "take it as it comes" and then decide how to go about clearing the roads.

"We'll do what we have to do."

Winds from the east created problems for motorists Wednesday, Jean said.

"We put up snow fences expecting the wind to come out of the west, but the wind from the east isn't expected this time of year.

"There were a few cars stranded on some of the roads (in Lafayette County)," he said.

If the roads are icy, people should stay home, Cecil said.