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Bitter cold early in week followed by ice late in week
151 blocked for 7 hours
151 Mineral Point jackknife
Authorities spent 7 hours cleaning up a jackknifed tractortrailer on U.S. 151 Friday night. - photo by Wisconsin State Patrol

Last week featured the entire spectrum of winter weather that does not include snow.

Schools were closed Jan. 6–7 throughout Wisconsin after what the National Weather Service termed “life-threatening cold air” from the arctic vortex.

By the end of the week, Platteville and Iowa–Grant schools closed again, but for a different reason — ice, which promoted those schools to end the school day early.

Freezing rain that started early Friday afternoon led to several vehicles going off the road on U.S. 151 between Platteville and Dickeyville. Traffic was stopped for about 90 minutes, and some 151 exits were briefly closed. No one was injured in the crashes.

That, however, paled in comparison to what happened farther north on 151 later Friday. A tractor–trailer carrying dairy products jackknifed on 151 south of Mineral Point around 4:45 p.m.

The crash blocked both southbound lanes of 151 for 7½ hours. Those close to a U-turn were able to turn around and go back into Mineral Point, where police directed traffic trying to go southwest to Wisconsin 23 to Darlington. Others who were closer to the crash sat as long as seven hours in one case.

Trooper Briant Russell of the Wisconsin State Patrol said 151 finally opened around 12:15 a.m., and traffic was flowing through the area around 12:40 a.m. Russell said some cars near the crash scene needed to be jump-started as a result of worn-down batteries.