Record blizzard cripples Green Bay as flooding concerns linger
GREEN BAY - Roads were impassable. Flights got canceled. Roofs collapsed.
A stubborn and intense spring blizzard pummeled Green Bay over the weekend in what meteorologists say is likely the largest snowstorm to hit the city in 130 years.
The storm prompted many residents to hunker down as whiteout conditions blasted the region with wind gusts topping 50 miles per hour.
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Snowfall from the storm, which started Friday evening, totaled 23.2 inches in Green Bay as of 4 p.m. Sunday afternoon and was not expected to stop until midnight.
The snow was forecast to taper off late Sunday night, but its effects will continue to be felt Monday, including continued difficult travel conditions, school and business closings, and potential flooding near the mouth of the Fox River.
The blizzard brought more snow than any other April storm in Green Bay's history, and put this month's snow accumulation beyond any other April on record, according to Roy Eckberg of the National Weather Service.
Green Bay's largest snowstorm, which dropped 29 inches, hit in March 1888.
Brown County deputies responded to 62 crashes and 327 vehicles stuck in snow and ditches over the last three days, Lt. Christopher Knurr of sheriff's office said.
Emergency crews also responded to multiple reports of roofs partially collapsing under the weight of the heavy, wet snow.
In Ashwaubenon, the roof over the pool area at Econo Lodge collapsed around 9:40 a.m. The pool was not occupied at the time and the hotel was evacuated as a result of the incident.
Roof collapses also were reported at Machine Service Inc. in Ashwaubenon, ABC Supply in Howard and Jones Sign in De Pere, according to emergency radio reports.
As of Sunday afternoon, water levels on the Fox River had risen about 4 inches since the morning as strong winds pushed water and ice into the southern end of the bay of Green Bay.
The National Weather Service issued a lakeshore flood warning through Monday for the southern end of the bay, including portions of Door and Oconto counties. In addition, the weather service warned that ice shoves could cause property damage along the shoreline
The water crested the shoreline Monday morning near the municipal boat launch on Bay Beach Road and the street was closed to traffic at Quincy Street.
Green Bay Police Lt. Jody Buth said the police department is monitoring river water levels and expects additional flooding issues in the coming days when temperatures rise and snow melts.
The storm prompted a litany of closures, with many churches foregoing services on Sunday and school districts in and around Green Bay canceling classes for Monday.
Multiple inbound and outbound flights at Austin Straubel International Airport in Green Bay also were canceled Sunday.