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Police warn of ‘black ice,’ worsening road conditions as winter storm hits Michigan

MLive Ann Arbor logo MLive Ann Arbor 12/30/2019 By Justine Lofton,

Winter is back.

Old Man Winter is making another appearance in Michigan after a holiday hiatus that gave much of the state a green Christmas.

Some areas have rather dramatic forecasts - like wind gusts up to 60 mph, heavy snow falling at rates of up to 3 inches per hour, and waves on Lake Michigan building to 11 feet, which brings another round of concern about shoreline and dune erosion. Conditions are expected to persist into Tuesday with Winter Weather Advisories and Winter Storm Warning affecting much of the state.

With the winter weather comes a return to slick road conditions and the need for extra caution while traveling.

Michigan State Police warned Monday morning, Dec. 30, that roads in Alpena County were becoming icy. Crash reports were rolling in.

“For those who must travel, take extra time and use caution as many of the roadways are covered in ‘black ice,’” police said.

A semi-truck jack-knifed and slid off the roadway while traveling northbound on I-75 in Otsego County this morning. The crash and a subsequent fuel spill blocked the highway.

In Washtenaw County, a rollover crash closed a section of northbound US-23 in Ann Arbor Township for nearly two hours this morning.

The Upper Peninsula is also feeling the effects of the winter storm. Precipitation across the U.P. switched over from rain to heavy, wet snow Monday morning, according the U.S. National Weather Service in Marquette.

“This snow will make driving difficult to impossible!” an NWS Facebook post says. The U.P. could also see power outages and lakeshore flooding.

Here’s who is covered by the Winter Weather Advisory in the Lower Peninsula: The counties of Osceola, Clare, Mecosta, Isabella, Montcalm, Gratiot, Ionia, Clinton, Eaton, Ingham, Calhoun, Jackson, Mason, Lake, Oceana, Newaygo, Muskegon, Ottawa, Allegan, Kent, Barry, Van Buren and Kalamazoo. The timing is 4 a.m. Monday through 7 p.m. Tuesday.

These Lower Peninsula counties are also under a Winter Weather Advisory until 7 p.m. Monday: Emmet, Cheboygan, Presque Isle, Atrim, Otsego, Montmorency, Alpena, Kalkaska, Crawford, Oscoda, Alcona, Missaukee, Roscommon, Ogemaw, Iosco and Charlevoix.

Also in the Lower Peninsula, Leelanau, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Manistee and Wexford counties are under a Winter Weather Advisory until 11 a.m. Tuesday.

In the Upper Peninsula, these counties are under a Winter Weather Advisory until 7 a.m. Tuesday: western Chippewa, central Chippewa, southeast Chippewa, western and eastern Mackinac.

A Winter Storm Warning has been issued for the U.P. counties of Luce, Keweenaw, Ontonagon, Northern Houghton, Baraga, Marquette, Alger, Gogebic, Iron, Dickinson, Southern Houghton, Menomine, Delta and Schoolcraft. Timing is early Monday through early Tuesday for most of these counties.


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