And the winner for best Halloween costume goes to ... Mother Nature for dressing as Old Man Winter.
Six inches of slushy snow blanketed Jefferson County Thursday, causing numerous traffic runoffs and driving problems for commuters on their way to work.
Pumpkins throughout the area were covered in snow as parts of Wisconsin officially captured the snowiest October on record.
The roads were slick, with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office deputies responding to 43 slideoffs. Of those, 19 vehicles sustained damage.
In Fort Atkinson, there were no reported crashes. However, the police department did provide mutual aid for a semi tractor-trailer that jackknifed on State Highway 26 at the 106-mile marker.
“We were fortunate in the city,” said Fort Atkinson Police Department Capt. Todd Schulz.
Bill Kern, superintendent for the Jefferson County Highway Department, said crews hit the roads shortly after midnight on Thursday.
“Guys are still out plowing,” he said Thursday afternoon.
The county had 20 plows out clearing the snow, which came down heavy at times. The problem was augmented by windy conditions.
Kern said winds gusting up to 25 mph created drifting and more work for plows.
While the main roads were in good shape Thursday afternoon, he said crews still were getting to plow some of the secondary roads.
“We are salting. And in most cases, temperatures are high enough so (the salt) is working really well,” he said. “The wind is the only tricky thing now.”
Crews across the county were busy during the storm, with Fort Atkinson plows out by 6:30 a.m.
Kent Smith, superintendent for the Fort Atkinson Department of Public Works, said crews cleaned up streets throughout the day.
“The main roads look really good,” he said. “The rest are still snow-covered and slippery.”
The snow also was causing other problems for a project that usually takes place this time of year — picking up leaves.
“Yeah. This is putting us behind with that. We should have been started by now,” Smith said of leaf pickup.
The National Weather Service in Sullivan recorded 6 inches of snow on the ground as of Thursday afternoon. Meteorologist Taylor Patterson said most of the county had between 4 and 6 inches of snow.
State records for snow totals are kept for Madison and Milwaukee, where Halloween became the snowiest day on record for October.
In Madison, snow totals from Monday and Thursday added up to 8 inches, also a record.
The old record was 5.2 inches in 1917. That same year, Camp Randall Stadium opened on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus.
In Milwaukee, where it was still snowing late afternoon Thursday, the city had received 4.7 inches of snow for the month. Its record is 6.3 inches set in 1989.
With the snow coming down so early in the season, plow crews had to hustle the last few days to get the trucks changed over from summer to winter.
“We had to scramble to get the plows on,” Kern said.
Kern advised motorists to be cautious and slow down.
“The first storm is always a little tricky because the public is not used to the snow,” he said.
If there are any slick spots on the roads Friday, crews will be out again, he said.
“All we ask, and we saw some today, is for people to slow down out there. And make sure our plows have room to work,” Kern said. “Our guys did well for our first storm.”