County sees double barrage of snowfall

Weight of snowfall caused a partial collapse of a barn in the Town of Randall Jan. 31. Authorities safely evacuated three horses and some goats inside without injuries to people or animals (Photo used with permission from Town of Randall Fire Department Facebook page).

Weight causes barn collapse in Randall

By Jason Arndt

Western Kenosha County and surrounding areas experienced a double snowstorm within a seven-day span causing several traffic accidents and even a partial barn collapse in the Town of Randall.

The National Weather Service, which issued winter storm warnings on two occasions, reported at least 8-1/2 inches of snowfall, with locally heavier amounts, in the second round of storms from Jan. 30-31.

Elsewhere, along Lake Michigan, the City of Racine saw 13-1/2 inches of snow fall during the time period.

The snowfall, meanwhile, caused a partial barn collapse in the Town of Randall shortly before 9 a.m. Jan. 31.

Sgt. David Wright, of the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department, said Sheriff’s deputies and the Town of Randall Fire Department responded to 35600 Wilmot Road for a partially collapsed barn with animals inside.

“The barn consisted of a metal roof and sides with wooden support and could not bear the weight of the snow,” he said.

Fortunately, according to Town of Chairman Robert Stoll, a Town of Randall Fire Department official, said authorities safely evacuated the animals without any injuries. That said, the stable owner would now have to get the barn repaired by contacting a roofing company (similar to Perfect Exteriors or similar ones in the area) and a foundation contractor who can repair it.

Stoll, whose department received help from Salem Lakes and Twin Lakes, noted crews extricated the animals from the building.

The Town of Wheatland also helped with mutual aid.

“There were no injuries to people or animals, it worked out well,” Stoll said.

Dangerous road conditions
Wright, meanwhile, indicated on Tuesday the Sheriff’s Department responded to five crashes with injuries, 11 crashes causing property damage, three fire calls and assisted 113 motorists from 6 a.m. Jan 30 through 6 p.m. Jan. 31.

“Our deputies were able to keep up with the calls for service and did an excellent job serving the people of Kenosha County,” Wright said. “The roadways were dangerous, and we are thankful that none of the accidents involved life-threatening injuries.”

In Racine County, Sheriff’s Lt. James Evans said his agency had more than 50 calls for crashes and motorists in need from 8 p.m. Jan. 30 through 8 p.m. Jan. 31, according to preliminary totals.

Evans, like Wright, noted dangerous road conditions with blowing snow.

“The blowing and drifting snow has created extraordinarily dangerous conditions for motorists as well as deputies responding to assists,” a Racine County Sheriff’s Office news release states.

Initial snowfall
From Jan. 25-26, when the first snowstorm struck the area, Wright reported more than a dozen crashes in Kenosha County.

Wright said his department responded to four crashes with injuries, 14 crashes causing property-damage, assisted six motorists in the first snowstorm.

Additionally, Sheriff’s deputies responded to two crashes on Interstate 94, with the first happening at about 8 a.m. Jan. 26.

“Our department assisted the Wisconsin State Patrol by blocking traffic in the 12220 block of I-94 northbound for two semi-tractors that jackknifed,” the Wright said. “The Interstate was shut down and traffic was diverted for over an hour.”

The Sheriff’s Department, meanwhile, investigated a second crash involving two jackknifed semi-trucks on Interstate 94 and caused closure for about an hour.

Locally, the Sheriff’s Department did not need to close any roads in the first storm, Wright said.

The National Weather Service on Jan. 26 reported four inches of snow fell in the Silver Lake area with heavier amounts west to Lake Geneva, where the Walworth County municipality saw 5.9 inches, according to final snowfall totals.