Frigid temperatures and wind-blown snow made for a slippery morning and afternoon commute for Metro Detroit motorists on Monday, following the weekend blizzard.
With high temperatures only reaching 14 degrees Monday afternoon, WWJ tipsters continued to report patches of black ice, traffic backups, blowing snow and just generally slipper roadways.
Speaking with WWJ Monday afternoon, Berkley’s Deputy Chief of Public Safety Bob North said Woodward Avenue in both directions from 696 to Maple Road was very icy, stressing that drivers need to be careful and prepared.
“If you see a dry patch, there’s an icy one coming before you know it. No matter where you’re driving in this area, everyone just slow down,” North said.
“Because the snow has compressed into ice. What salt there was has melted and refrozen,” he said.
North says they had at least half a dozen spinouts Monday on Woodward Avenue alone.
As the storm blew through southeast Michigan Sunday blanketing the region — a record snowfall of 6.3 inches was reported in Detroit, breaking the pervious record of four inches set in 1893.
Nearly a foot of snow was reported in Bad Axe, in Michigan’s thumb region. Nearly seven inches of snow was reported in White Lake and Lake Orion. About six inches was reported in Howell, Romulus and Riverview.
Five inches was reported in Ann Arbor, Brighton, Newport, Rochester Hills and Flint.
“This is the worst morning commute I’ve ever seen,” said WWJ Traffic Reporter John Bailey.
Authorities said an 80-year-old man was killed Sunday when his vehicle rolled over in Montcalm County, while a 75-year-old woman died in a Livingston County crash.
WWJ’s Mike Campbell reported I-96 near Milford and Novi was a “sheet of ice.” There were also major slowdowns on I-75 and the Southfield Freeway.
“I officially give up on this drive to work,” said an Allen Park woman, had been the road for three hours on her way to Farmington Hills. “Maybe ill get there in time to turn around and come home later.”
The Oakland County Sheriff’s Office reported deputies responded to 64 property damage accidents, 10 personal injury accidents and 82 road run-offs between 7 a.m. Sunday though 5:30 a.m. Monday.
Road crews continured salting and plowing roads into the afternoon.
DTE Energy was reporting 40,000 homes and businesses without power as of 5 a.m. Monday, according to utility spokesman John Austerberry. The heavy snow and high winds were causing tree branches to fall on power lines. Crews were working to restore power, but was unclear when full power will be restored.
About 30,000 customers were still powerless Monday afternoon, down from an original total of 68,000.
To report a power outage to DTE Energy call 1-800-477-4747.
Elsewhere in Michigan, CMS Energy Corp. officials said 12,000 homes and businesses remained blacked out, down from 37,000.
Dozens of local schools cancelled classes. – CLICK HERE for a list of shool closings –
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A snow emergency was declared in Dearborn Heights, Dearborn, Flat Rock, Garden City, Southgate, Taylor and many other cities meaning residents have to move cars off side streets so plows can clear city streets. Those who don’t move their cars could be fined and/or have their cars towed.
If you have to fly out of or into Detroit, Delta Airlines has issued a weather waiver for travelers in Michigan and six other midwest states. People can make one-time changes to travel schedules without fees through Sunday.
Delta reduced flight schedules to and from affected airports to minimize delays during the storm, including at its hubs in Detroit, Cincinnati, and Minneapolis-St. Paul.
Some people spent the night at Metro Airport because of delays.
The expanded weather advisory encourages customers traveling through Michigan, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ohio, North Dakota, and South Dakota to consider postponing or re-routing their travel without penalty to avoid possible inconvenience.
Accuweather says a cold front will move into the region with this weekend’s storm and the arctic air and high winds could push wind chill readings to the lowest, so far, this season.
Click here for information from Metro Airport.
Here’s the WWJ-AccuWeather forecast:
AccuWeather RealFeel Temperatures will be below zero much of Monday and Monday night and only in the single digits on Tuesday…
Monday: Quite windy and bitterly cold with flurries and blowing snow. High 14. Partly cloudy with harsh winds Monday night. Low 10.
Tuesday: Windy and still quite cold with times of clouds and sun. High 22.
Wednesday: Partly sunny and cold. High 25.
Thursday: Turning mostly cloudy. High 28.
Friday: Mostly cloudy and breezy with a chance for a couple of snow showers. High 31.