News and notes from around the area as Milwaukee digs out from the blizzard:
Clean-up continues: Mayor Tom Barrett said at a press conference Thursday that about 90 percent of the main city streets have been cleared and plows are starting to move into residential neighborhoods.
The goal is to have the snow removal project completed in time for the Thursday morning commute.
"Our first priority is safety," Barrett said. "But No. 2, we want to get our businesses and schools back open."
Barrett asked residents to limit their travel today as plows continue to clear the roads. Parking Enforcement workers will be out this afternoon to ticket and tow vehicles parked in violation of the city's winter parking regulations, though many vehicles are nearly buried by snowdrifts.
"That's an issue," Barrett said. "The four-inch rule is obviously in effect. People have to move their vehicles. It's part of being a good neighbor ... Plows simply can't get around those cars so people need to do everything they can to move their vehicles."
The Mayor credited the a residency requirement for city workers in helping deal with the blizzard. Department of Public Works employees were allowed to take their heavy equipment home with them Tuesday night, making it easier to report back to work at midnight.
"These people live in the city," Barrett said. "Workers were able to get to their jobs."
Fatality reported: Police Chief Ed Flynn said there has been one storm-related fatality.
A 66-year-old man collapsed while shoveling snow in the 5200 block of North 66th Street.
Flynn encouraged residents to exercise special care driving and walking today. As many sidewalks are still covered in deep snowdrifts, many are walking through plowed streets.
"Just because a car sees you doesn't mean it can stop in time," Flynn said.
Clear hydrants, corners: Barrett, Flynn and Milwaukee Fire Chief Mark Rohlfing asked residents to pitch in with shoveling and clean up efforts, encouraging people to assist elderly neighbors by shoveling their walks.
They also asked for residents to assist with clearing fire hydrants, street corners and bus stops.
"For you young people, who may be frustrated today, pick a corner, any corner and start shoveling," Barrett said.
Transit update: Milwaukee County Transit System buses will not resume service until tomorrow.
Morning service was suspended last night and officials hoped to get the buses rolling sometime Wednesday, but with many of the city streets still impassable, service will not be restored until Thursday morning.
Mitchell International open at 5 p.m.: Mitchell International Airport expects to resume operations later today. The terminal is open but all flights in and out of the airport have been canceled.
Those with flights later today are encouraged to contact their airline or check the airport Web site.
"It's a massive clean-up job," Airport spokesperson Pat Rowe told WDJT-TV. "Our goal is to have a runway open and available."
I-94 reopened: The storm led authorities to close I-94 between Milwaukee and the Illinois state line. That freeway has been reopened but motorists are advised to use caution as blowing a drifting snow may have covered parts of the roadway.
There are still a number of stranded trucks in Kenosha County, where large drifts continue to cause problems.
In the Milwaukee area, much of the freeway system is drivable.
Malls staying closed: Mayfair and Bayshore Town Center will remain closed today. Both shopping centers plan to reopen Thursday at 10 a.m. The Shops of Grand Avenue also is closed all day.
Update: As of 2 p.m. today, 94 percent of the City's main streets and 43 percent of the residential streets had been plowed. The goal is to plow to the curb where possible. Salt trucks will spread a layer salt on the residential streets tonight. Thursday morning the garbage and recycling trucks will return the side streets to plow the opposite side of the street. There are 325 pieces of equipment in service.
Garbage and recycling will be suspended on Thursday.
The snow emergency is still in effect so all winter parking regulations, including "snow route tow away zones' will continue to be enforced. This provides an opportunity plow the areas where cars had previously parked and get to the curbs. Parking Enforcement issued 825 citations for the 4 inch rule, 373 for violating, snow emergency routes, and 166 for blocking traffic. There were 129 cars towed, the majority for obstructing traffic.
Crews will start addressing the sidewalk ramps at 5 a.m. Thursday.