Southern Mich. hit with winter storm

This winter just keeps on giving.
AP Wire
Feb 5, 2014

Another snowstorm roared through the southern part of Michigan of Wednesday and dumped a half-foot of snow or more on some communities, while turning even the shortest of commutes into white-knuckled driving journeys.

By 1 p.m., Monroe in southeastern Michigan had 8 inches of new snow, with another half-inch possible as the storm continued moving to the north and east.

"It's pretty much a whiteout. The roads are completely covered," Monroe County Sheriff's Office Maj. Jeff Kemp told the Monroe News. "You can't see pavement."

The Detroit area received anywhere from 6 to 8 inches. The busy Detroit Metropolitan Airport, west of Detroit in Romulus, had 8 inches — enough to cause three planes to get stuck. Crews used trucks to push or pull two regional Delta jets with passengers out of the snow Wednesday morning, said airport spokesman Michael Conway.

A corporate jet also got stuck in the snow when it mistakenly turned onto a fire access lane rather than a taxiway, according to WDIV-TV.

"This is it for a while," National Weather Service meteorologist Rachel Kulik said of Wednesday's snowfall.

That's good news for Kathy Gardner, 62, of Ferndale, as she cleared snow from her car before heading to downtown Detroit.

The Detroit area stumbled through a monthly record 39.1 inches of snow in January. The previous monthly record was 38.4 inches set in February 1908.

"Winter is rough anyway but after this bad winter, it's getting under my skin," Gardner told The Detroit News.

Snow accumulations Wednesday were lighter to the west.

Lansing received 5 inches, as did Grand Rapids and parts of Jackson, Van Buren and Kalamazoo counties. But even that was enough to snarl streets, roads and freeways.

At least 1,100 calls for service were made Wednesday morning, with the heaviest volume during the morning commute, according to AAA Michigan. Most calls were for cars in ditches, fender-benders and dead batteries, said Nancy Cain, a spokeswoman for the auto club.

Several multi-vehicle crashes, including some with injuries, were reported along I-94 in the Jackson area. Crashes also closed portions of I-69 in the Flint area.

In Detroit, city officials activated three snow-clearing contractors to start plowing nearly 1,900 miles of residential side streets Wednesday afternoon. More than 30 snow removal trucks also were clearing 660 miles of major roads, the city said in a release.

The snow will stop falling and the roads might be cleared, but another bit of winter will linger.

"Unfortunately, it's going to stay cold," said Evan Webb, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Grand Rapids.

Lows were expected to dip below zero in many areas Thursday night and Friday.

 

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