Snowstorm pushes through Michigan
Jul 21, 2015 at 1:43 PM
A tanker carrying crude oil crashed and went off a bridge at about 11 a.m. Thursday on snowy I-69 in Genesee County's Davison Township, forcing the temporary evacuation of nearby homes and businesses.
The truck was carrying 120,000 pounds of thousands of pounds of crude oil. The crash caused a fire, releasing toxic fumes.
Officials briefly ordered a 1-mile evacuation of the area and advised people to stay indoors.
The truck's driver is "the luckiest man I know today," said Davison Fire Chief Mike Wright.
"Somehow he came off that bridge and got out of the vehicle by himself," said Wright. "He was standing (there) when I pulled up and I was talking to him."
At least 10 inches of snow fell in Allegan during the multi-day storm, the National Weather Service said. It said 8.6 inches fell at Schoolcraft near Kalamazoo and 8.6 inches in Barry County.
The chill accompanying the storms has pushed temperatures down into in the teens and single digits for most of the state Thursday evening. Pot Hope near the tip of the Thumb region was the state's hot spot at 5 p.m. with a reading of 19 degrees. Drummond Island in Lake Huron east of the Upper Peninsula reported a reading of minus 7.
AAA Michigan received 3,100 calls Thursday through 4 p.m. after assisting 3,000 people on New Year's Day, said spokeswoman Nancy Cain.
Road crews faced problems with drifting snow and low temperatures that made salt ineffective.
"We initially had 56 trucks on the road until about midnight Wednesday and then ramped things. We currently have 100 trucks at work," said Craig Bryson, spokesman for the Oakland County Road Commission. "The biggest problem is the constant snow, drifts as well as low temperatures."
Ice jams prompted a flood advisory for the Pere Marquette River in Mason County and the Muskegon River in Osceola County.