GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Kent County nightside road crews were called in early Saturday as forecasts predicted Grand Rapids’ biggest snowfall since Christmas.
Jerry Byrne, Road Commission Deputy Managing Director of Operations, told News 8 that 35 people will continue to plow and treat roads throughout the night.
“That heavy, wet snow generally means the temperatures are warming so we can get some salt to work better than what we had during Christmas when it was super cold and super windy,” he said.
Muskegon, Ottawa, Kent and Ionia counties remain under a winter storm warning until 10 a.m. Sunday. Forecasts predict those along and north of I-96 will be hit worst. Road crews generally treat and plow major highways and roads throughout the storm due to the road’s higher frequency of traffic.
“It will be a 50% salt, 50% sand [mixture],” Byrne said. “We want some of that de-icing chemical there to help the snow and ice not to bond, but with the rates they’re talking about we want some grit left behind for traction overnight.”
This past week’s snowfall was a welcome sight for those along the lakeshore. The extra couple of inches allowed for Muskegon’s 37th annual Snowfest. While at Cannonsburg Ski and Recreation Area prior to Saturday’s snowfall its base was only two feet. Eight out of its 22 runs were open.
Byrne said their biggest concern during weekend snowstorms is the other drivers, especially when the bulk of the snow falls at night.
“We would hope and expect drivers to slow down,” he said. “Weekends always make us a little nervous because you do have a higher percentage of people who have potentially been out drinking.”
Drivers are required to slow down and move over to an open lane when approaching a snowplow as part of Michigan’s Move Over law.