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Preparing for Michigan winter hazards

Preparing for Michigan winter hazards

The scene on US131 at the Jefferson/Morley exit Sunday, February 20, 2011 during the snowstorm.

We’ve already had our first snowfall, and there’s sure to be plenty more.
According to WOOD-TV8 meteorologist Bill Steffen, he’s forecasting 89 inches of snow for Grand Rapids, 76 inches for Kalamazoo, 98 inches for Holland and 100  inches for Muskegon. “Above normal snowfall is likely over most all of southern Great Lakes,” he wrote in his Winter Forecast.
Steffen said last winter (Dec.-Feb.) turned out to be slightly cooler than average and we got the most snow in February, as we’ve done the last three years.
According to the National Weather Service, The “Groundhog Day” blizzard was the headline event of the winter, not only in Michigan but across the county. This blizzard stretched from Oklahoma through Chicago and Michigan and into the New England states. The storm produced widespread blizzard conditions from the Holland/Grand Rapids area northeast through the Saginaw Bay region.  Snowfall in this band across Central Lower Michigan ranged from 10 to 15 inches.  The winds gusted in excess of 40 mph for hours, which created whiteout conditions, snow drifts of 3 to 5 feet and made travel nearly impossible.
Steffen noted there is also a decent chance of an ice storm again this year like the one we had on February 20 (see photo.) The ice accumulated up to a half inch with some isolated locations with an inch of ice.  This downed thousands of trees and power lines throughout that region. Many people were without power for 4 to 5 days.  The National Weather Service said up to 10 million dollars in damages were caused by the ice storm.
Are you prepared for this winter? Check out the articles in this section to see what you should do before and during a winter storm.

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