Anniversary of Groundhog Blizzard

2/2/12 – It was called the “Groundhog Blizzard” and up to 26-inches of snow hammered our region one year ago. Four people were killed, including a Racine County woman who suffered a heart problem while walking from her street to her house – and was buried under four-feet of snow. Tod Pritchard of Wisconsin Emergency Management remembers giant snow-drifts, canceled flights, impassable roads, and over 100 abandoned vehicles in Kenosha County. The Dodge County Sheriff’s Department dealt with over 170-runoffs as 12-inches of snow fell in a 24-hour period with wind gusts of 45-miles-per hour. Pritchard credited emergency personnel for getting a jump on the storm. Had they not, he said it could have been a lot worse. The federal government later declared Dodge County and nine other counties as disaster areas – a rarity for a Wisconsin winter storm. And it forced Sun Prairie’s famous groundhog to go haywire with his prediction. Sun Prairie canceled its annual community gathering last year, and Jimmy the Groundhog was let out privately to predict an early spring. But in one of Jimmy’s rare lapses, spring was not so early – as northeast Wisconsin had 10-inches of snow in late April.