GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Travel will remain icy and dangerous at times into Christmas morning, though conditions are expected to gradually improve through Sunday.
A Winter weather advisory has replaced the Blizzard warning, which expired at 7 p.m. Saturday. The advisory runs until 7 p.m. Sunday for an additional 1-2 inches of snow, as well as icy roads and blowing snow.
This weekend was supposed to be one of the busiest of the year for area churches, but several have decided to go virtual or cancel due to the blizzard. See the full list of closings here.
CHRISTMAS DAY FORECAST
Blowing snow will remain a concern in rural, open areas, but widespread blizzard conditions have come to an end. Occasional whiteouts are still likely, especially in pockets of heavy lake effect snow bands. Lows will hover in the low teens and only warm into the upper teens in the afternoon, as wind chills remain near or below zero.
ROAD CONDITIONS UPDATE
Jerry Byrne with the Kent County Road Commission is warning drivers that roads are very slippery and there’s a lot of hard-packed snow on them.
“If you do have to travel, it’s a greatly reduced speed,” he said, adding that crews are not putting down deicing chemicals on Saturday due to the wind chill causing refreeze.
Byrne said over 80 crews are working on getting to areas where the blowing and drifting snow has closed the roadways.
“We’re kind of shifting directions and making sure we’re getting into those rural areas so we can get emergency services, if someone has an emergency we can service them,” he said.
Looking ahead, Byrne is anticipating that roads will be in better shape Sunday into Monday when crews are able to put chemical deicer down to start melting the hard-packed snow and ice.
While a few flights were able to get in and out of the Ford International Airport on time, a majority were delayed significantly or canceled Saturday. Snowplows have been seen clearing the runways since before 5 a.m.
DAILY SNOWFALL RECORD BROKEN
Grand Rapids set a new record for snow on Dec. 23. A total of 7.5 inches of snow fell at the National Weather Service office in Grand Rapids, breaking the previous record of 5.9 inches set in 2008.
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