Traverse City, Mich. (WOOD) - A state of emergency has been declared in Grand Traverse, Leelanau and Benzie Counties after a weekend storm dumped 18-20 inches of snow overnight.
As many as 70,000 homes were estimated to be without power or phone service Saturday afternoon, according to emergency officials. They told 24 Hour News 8, ice brought down trees and limbs unto power lines.
Emergency Managers and local law enforcement were urging residents to stay off the roads until crews could plow them.
By Saturday night, most of the main roads inside the Traverse City limits were plowed and crews were slowly restoring power to homes in the city, according to Dan Scott, Grand Traverse County Emergency Director.
He told 24 Hour News 8, they didn't expect to see a majority of the power restored throughout the county until Monday. Crews can't get into neighborhoods or rural areas because the roads haven't been plowed yet, he said.
Many residents with cars and trucks stuck in two feet of snow uploaded cell phone pictures and video to social media. One couple documented their trip to the mall in Traverse City and uploaded it to Youtube:
"This is the most snowfall I've ever seen in one sitting," a voice on the video said. "This is the most snow I've seen for sure. Look at those tree branches down!" another said.
Another woman documented her effort to shovel her driveway on Youtube:
"Just when you thought it was safe to put away the shovel," she said.
Since so many phone lines were down, the American Red Cross forwarded all emergency calls and inquiries to Grand Rapids. From there, they were organizing and directing residents to which shelters had space.
"We're establishing shelters where need-be, we want to provide a safe and warm place for people to come who've lost power or who have medical needs," American Red Cross Emergency Services Regional Director, Chip Kragt, said. " We want to have open places where the community can come and stay warm."
GRAM Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony in front of a festive downtown crowd at Rosa Parks Circle Friday night.
Two people were taken to the hospital after one vehicle crossed the center line, causing a head-on crash in Ada Township Friday night.
Police say snow made roads "treacherous" Sunday and urged people to stay home if possible.