LANSING (WWJ) – Use extreme caution if you’re hitting the roads in metro Detroit on Monday.

Sleet and freezing rain were falling Monday afternoon across Southeast Michigan — and motorists say it’s getting bad out there.

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Gov. Rick Snyder ordered that all state offices in the Lower Peninsula close at 1 p.m. due to the storm, and the state’s Emergency Operations Center has been activated.

A Winter Weather Advisory, meantime, remains in effect in metro Detroit and across the lower part of the state until 9 p.m., covering Lenawee , Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, St. Clair, Washtenaw, and Wayne counties.

A quarter- to half-inch of ice accumulation, heavy, wet snow, high winds and widespread power outages are possible.

[Report an outage and check the DTE outage map at this link.]

AccuWeather Meteorologist Dave Samuel urges motorists to watch out for dangerous, icy conditions on roads and bridges.

“Especially any bridges with curves in them…you really need to slow down before you get on to that bridge,” Samuel said. “Just take it slow out there. That really is the number one thing to do.”

Samuel said we’ll see temperatures below freezing late into Monday afternoon, as more sleet and freezing rain move through. Eventually, he said, it’ll turn more to just rain as it warms up late in the day.

Leo Ciavatta, Maintenance Superintendent for the Macomb County Department of Roads, said it’s been a mixed bag of weather — and his crews are dealing with it.

“It’s freezing rain, some sleet…it’s hitting the pavement and it’s kinda slippery, but our salt trucks are out there,” he said.

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Ciavatta said second shift is ready to relieve drivers who have been out since 7 a.m., and another wave of drivers will be headed out at midnight. Freeways get treated first, followed by the mile and primary roads, and then secondary neighborhood streets.

Craig Bryson, with the Road Commission for Oakland County, said it’s a good thing so many people are on vacation.

“Obviously there will be fewer people on the road given the holidays, less people working this week,” he said. “The fewer cars on the road certainly makes it easier for us to address the situation and get it taken care of.”

Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division, Sunday night, encouraged people to prepare for a hazardous winter storm by planning ahead, staying informed and packing emergency kits. [More here].

On the west side of the state, officials have warned residents to stay off the roads unless it’s necessary. The Kent County Sheriff Department closed its office at 12:30 p.m. Monday.

Grand Rapids police officers were conducting sweeps of the city’s downtown and west side for people living outdoors and who might be at risk.

Emergency Management Coordinator Jack Stewart says wind gusts could reach upward of 50 mph and “could take down trees and power lines.”  Parts of western and northern Michigan still are recovering from thunderstorms and wind gusts last week that knocked out power to thousands of homes and businesses.

Know before you go: Keep it tuned to WWJ Newsradio 950 for the latest forecast during traffic and weather, every 10 minutes on the 8s. See the live, local radar now at this link.

Sign up for severe weather text alerts: Text STORM to 95001
For daily weather forecast text alerts: Text FORECAST to 95001

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