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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — There are slippery road conditions and areas of low visibility as another winter storm moves through West Michigan Tuesday.
The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for West Michigan until 1 p.m. Wednesday. The area could see a total of 2 to 4 inches of snow, ice accumulation of up to one-tenth inch. Wind gusts of more than 40 mph are possible Tuesday night and into Wednesday.
Areas along the I-94 corridor are expected to see the heaviest ice accumulation.
MDOT: ‘NEVER-ENDING BATTLE’ TO CLEAR ICY ROADS
Nick Schirripa with MDOT Southwest said crews are working to clear as much as they can from ice-covered roads.
“Ice is very difficult to remove from the roads, especially when it gets packed down by traffic,” he said. “It’s going to be a battle until we get a break in the snowfall or the freezing rain, but it’s a challenge we are up to.”
Drivers can track the progress of the MDOT snowplows from the safety of home before hitting the road. Some plows are also equipped with cameras, allowing visitors to see the roads as they are cleared. The map is visible on the Mi Drive website.
“It’s kind of a never-ending battle. Once the snow stops falling and we get a break, we can catch up. As the snow and freezing rain is falling, we are going to be playing catch up,” he said.
Drivers are advised to be patient, go slow and give themselves more time to get where they are going Tuesday.
“People just need to be patient with us, the operators are doing the best they can. If everyone just slows down and gives themselves a little more time, I think, we will be alright,” he told 24 Hour News 8.
Drivers who venture out are reminded to turn on their headlights, clear all snow and ice from their vehicles, and stay focused. Michigan law prohibits drivers from “depositing” snow, ice or slush on roads and highways, which can pose a danger to other travelers.
The wintry weather could impact flights at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport. Passengers can check real-time flight information online before heading to the airport.
Thousands of homes and businesses in Southwest Michigan were already without power Tuesday morning. That number could grow as the winds pick up, putting more stress on icy tree limbs and power lines.
It comes after back-to-back ice storms and then a blast of strong winds hit West Michigan last week, knocking out power to more than 230,000 Consumers Energy customers.
The situation was so bad that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency for Grand Rapids, which allows the city to access state funds and assistance during cleanup.