Blizzard Conditions Forces Residents Into Homes 2-01-2011 - WNEM TV 5

Blizzard Conditions Forces Residents Into Homes 2-01-2011

A winter storm will track across Mid-Michigan spreading heavy snow and blizzard conditions in the overnight and through the day tomorrow.
Besides the snow falling at a quick rate, very strong northerly winds will develop tonight and persist through Wednesday. Because of this, we could see some blowing and drifting snow.
“If you don’t have anywhere to go tonight or tomorrow, stay off the roads,” said Chief Meteorologist Darrin Bradley.
Genesee County road crews have been working hard all day preparing their trucks and getting ready to keep the roads clear and safe.
Anthony Branch who is road maintenance director at the Genesee County road commission broke down the plan for the crews who will be working around the clock.
“Expressways are first, primary road systems are second, local roads and subdivisions are last,” said Branch. “If the snow is continuing to blow from the winds, it’s going to delay the time it takes to get into subdivisions and gravel roads.”
It’s important to remember that it’s always best to stay inside when travel is treacherous. However if you do choose to go out on the roads, remember to drive cautiously.
“Give them room and let them do their job,” said Branch. “Without them you can’t get anywhere anyway so just let them get their job done. The quicker they get done the better everyone can move around.”
Several county sheriffs in Mid-Michigan have issued warnings to motorists in the region to use extreme caution when taking to the roads and Huron County Sheriff Kelly Hanson suggested anyone without an emergency situation stay home on Wednesday.
“Unless an absolute emergency occurs, do not venture out onto the roads,” Hanson said. “If that emergency does occur, make sure you have a cell phone, proper winter clothing, enough gasoline, food and drink, along with other survival gear.”
Gov. Rick Snyder said steps are being taken at the state level in anticipation of the major winter storm. Snyder’s office issued this statement Tuesday afternoon: “The state of Michigan is actively monitoring the anticipated winter storm and is taking prudent steps to prepare for its possible impact. The state’s comprehensive emergency management procedures are being followed as we closely coordinate with our emergency management team, all state agencies and the National Weather Service.
“The State Emergency Operations Center will be activated this evening and will remain at the monitoring level to track the weather and maintain communication with state and local government emergency management personnel. We also have our men and women of the Michigan National Guard on a higher level of readiness in the event they are needed to assist communities. Our state agencies are planning appropriately so that adequate staffing is ensured in essential facilities such as hospitals and prisons. We urge all residents to use extreme caution during this weather event and put safety first. Please monitor your local news media and stay abreast of changing weather conditions.”

Meanwhile, the 74,000-student Detroit Public Schools and other districts across the state are canceling classes ahead of a major storm that's expected to inundate much of lower Michigan with seven to 12 inches of snow or more.
Detroit is the state's largest district and announced Tuesday that there will be no classes Wednesday.
Kalamazoo and Portage schools in West Michigan also have canceled classes.
There also will be no classes at Michigan State University in East Lansing and Wayne State in Detroit.
The storm is part of a massive 2,000-mile system threatening to leave the area from Texas to New England covered in a snow, sleet and freezing rain.
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