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Winter Survival Week: Treacherous Driving Conditions

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winter weather 12-24-09

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At the start of a Winter Survival Week in Metro Detroit, how’s the Monday morning drive? WWJ Newsradio 950 has a team of reporters covering driving and road conditions.

In Northville Township, Ron Dewey says hats off to the road crews who have done a phenomenal job given the conditions they were facing Sunday and overnight. As of 5:00 a.m., though, there were still flurries falling in the western suburbs, along with some blowing and drifting with the winds and colder temperatures. That was re-icing some of the roads, and there were a couple of cars going ditch-diving. Traffic on I-75 was moving from 40 to 45 mph.

After traveling to Metro Airport, Ron found that flight cancellations were starting to add up. The taxiways had been cleared, and the planes were lined up at the gates, but some of the planes had no place to go. There were 27 cancellations on the Delta board early Monday morning, the result of the nasty weather elsewhere that grounded connector flights. That means lots of travelers who became unintentional tourists. Some were not able to find a hotel room on such short notice. In fact, a couple of passengers said they spent the night on the floor; some trying to make destinations where only one daily flight is available. Some people having to wait as long as Wednesday, throwing a big wrench into their business trips or their journey back home.

WWJ’s City Beat Reporter Vickie Thomas found I-75 to be a white-knuckle drive in parts of Wayne County. The problem, she says, is that many of the freeways were still snow-covered with a layer of ice under the snow, so many people were spinning out. She saw two cars that had spun out and were turned in the opposite direction on the freeway.

In Oakland County, Mike Campbell traveled I-96 from I-23 through the I-275/M-5 interchange, and found that area nothing but ice. The problem: the roads were completely frozen over. From about I-275 to Middlebelt onto I-696, Mike says driving conditions get a little better, but then watch out: as you go up that hill leading up to Middlebelt – if you’re heading west on I-696 and then you come down to Orchard Lake – once again, all ice.

The bottom line: take your time to arrive safe and sound!

Copyright, 2010. WWJ Newsradio 950, All Rights Reserved.

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