web analytics

Tag Archive | "snow"

Snow shot


N-Statue-Snow-shot-Kristen-Leigh

Kristen Smith, of Kristen’s Flashback Photography, took this photo Monday during some of our recent snow. She explained on her Facebook page: “Life gets busy. I realized when I passed the Veterans Memorial Park in honor of our home town hero Timmy Brown, that I don’t stop on the side of the road as much as I used to when something catches my eye. The world is crazy right now, so I decided to make a stop, say a prayer for Timmy, his family, our military, and snap a couple of pics in the snow.”

That’s a great shot, Kristen! Thanks so much!

Posted in NewsComments (0)

Staying safe on winter roads


CAR-Staying-safe

(BPT) – For those who live in snow-belt states, winter driving can be especially challenging.

Snow (and related weather events, like frost, sleet and freezing rain) can significantly reduce the friction of the road surface, and slippery roads are significantly more dangerous than dry roads. You are about 50 percent more likely to have a crash on a road under winter driving conditions than on the same road under dry conditions, according to a variety of studies.

States, cities and local agencies use many available tools to take care of our roads and address the negative consequences of winter weather. By plowing snow and using road salt in a safe and sustainable manner, road agencies can reduce accidents on roads under winter driving conditions by as much as 88 percent and can reduce injuries in those crashes by 85 percent, according to a study by Marquette University. Those are significant improvements in safety.

The importance of salt on our roads

The key is in recognizing how road salt works. The purpose of the road salt is not to melt the snow, but rather to stop the snow from freezing to the pavement. If that goal is achieved, then plowing the snow off the road is simple and extremely effective, and it turns out that preventing that bond does not take much salt. The exact amount depends on a variety of factors (example – the colder the road surface, the more salt is needed) and will be different for every storm.

Getting the road salt to the right place means having plow trucks deployed at the correct time, and in order to keep the road salt on the road surface (rather than bouncing off or being swept into a ditch) agencies pre-wet the road salt with salt brine.

In addition to enhancing the safety of our roads in winter conditions, those snow plows are doing a lot to improve mobility. These “snowfighters” reduce weather-caused delays and congestion, allowing for emergency vehicles to respond more quickly when people need help, making for shorter travel times for families, allowing kids and parents to get to school and jobs safely and on time.

In fact, a study by IHS Global Insight for the American Highway Users Alliance found snow- and ice-related delays and shutdowns hurt hourly workers the most. This study also placed a monetary value on fast and effective snow removal and salting. According to the researchers, a state can incur economic losses of between $300 million and $700 million every day that roads are closed and impassable. Those snow plows are not just helping keep families together and safe, they are helping to keep the lifeblood of our commerce pumping during winter storms.

Posted in NewsComments (0)

Time for winter fun


n-winter-fun-passage

It’s that time of year again, when kids of all ages love to play in the snow. It might be building a snowman, having a snowball fight, making snow angels, building a fort, going sledding, or just plain eating it! In this photo, Autumn Passage, 7, and her sister Meadow, 3, are playing in their backyard with the beautiful Cedar Creek glistening in the background. The photo was submitted by their mom, Stephanie Passage.

If you have winter photos you’d like us to consider for publication, email them to news@cedarspringspost.com with “winter fun” in the subject line. We publish them as space allows, and do not guarantee publication.

Posted in Featured, NewsComments (0)

Keep sidewalks and fire hydrants clear of snow and ice


Snow often piles up around fire hydrants, especially after a snowstorm. Post photo by J. Reed.

Snow often piles up around fire hydrants, especially after a snowstorm. Post photo by J. Reed.

Kids walking to school, customers shopping, firefighters putting out fires, and postal workers delivering mail all have one thing in common—they depend on residents and business owners to make sure ice and snow are cleared away.

In the City of Cedar Springs, every occupant of every lot is required to remove the snow and ice from their sidewalks.

Area fire departments would also appreciate residents keeping fire hydrants free of snow.

Our firefighters often spend several hours shoveling out hydrants after a snowfall, and if an emergency should arise (such as in the case of a house fire), hydrants need to be in clear view. So if you have one near your house, a few extra minutes shoveling might make the difference! You could save a life.

Postal workers also need help from residents to keep snow and ice from piling up around their mailbox. Your carrier needs a good clear approach and path on leaving the box. Also, if your mailbox needs to be repaired or replaced, ask your carrier or call the Post Office for the required height.

Posted in NewsComments (0)

Winter snow fun


N-Winter-fun-Berkley-Armstrong

 

Clare Armstrong sent us this photo of her daughter, Berkley Armstrong,  enjoying some snow play and some snow eating (with snow cone syrup) while inside on a 5-degree day last week.

What clever or fun things can you do with or in the snow? Send your winter fun photos to us, along with some info, to news@cedarspringspost.com.

 

Posted in NewsComments (0)

Early snowstorm slams West Michigan


Blowing snow, wind chills in the single digits and icy roads put the area in a deep freeze, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, causing hundreds of schools to close and many drivers to slide off the road.

Heavy lake effect snow piled up across the area, with most areas getting somewhere around a foot. According to WOOD-TV8, Tuesday’s high temperature of 19 degrees was the coldest high temperature ever recorded for that date in Grand Rapids. That’s 27 degrees below average. At this same time last year, on November 17, we had severe weather that even spawned tornadoes across the state.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Kent County was under another winter weather advisory until early Friday morning, with another 6-8 inches of snow expected. By Saturday and Sunday, temps are expected to climb above freezing again.

Now that winter seems to be here, Kent County Emergency Management reminds everyone to pay attention to weather conditions before heading out the door. Give yourself a few extra minutes to arrive on time.

The cold can cause problems for many, especially people with pre-existing medical conditions, young children, and seniors. “Be a good friend or neighbor. Check on those who are elderly or have a medical condition,” says Jack Stewart, Kent County Emergency Management Coordinator. “Making a daily call or visit part of your routine could really help someone in need.”

If you haven’t shut off water to your outdoor spigots yet, do it now. Make sure you have emergency kits in your car and home this winter. The Michigan Committee for Severe Weather Awareness recommends you keep the following items in your home: Battery-powered flashlight, Batteries, Weather and/or portable radio, Extra food (canned or dried food is best) and a can opener, Bottled water (at least 3 gallons per person), First aid kit.

“If you lose power in your home and use a generator, be sure that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning,” Stewart says. “Also know the hazards if you need an emergency heating source, like a space heater.” Keep emergency supplies in your car as well. A small battery powered radio and extra batteries, a cell phone, and a blanket should always be kept within reach.

This early in the season, pets may be more vulnerable to the cold. Keep pets indoors as much as possible. The smaller the pet, the quicker the cold impacts them. Puppies and kittens are especially sensitive to the cold, as are older pets. Watch out for community cats that might crawl under the hood of your car to keep warm. Bang loudly on the hood before starting the car, and never leave pets in a car during the winter. Temperatures can be just as cold inside the car as they are outdoors.

More tips on winter preparedness from the Michigan Committee for Severe Weather Awareness can be found at: www.mcswa.com/Winter-Hazards.html.

 

Posted in Featured, NewsComments (0)

Out of the Attic


Main Street in Cedar Springs during the blizzard of 1978

Main Street in Cedar Springs during the blizzard of 1978

Tired of the snow?

If you think it’s bad right now, look at the result of the blizzard of 1978. This is what Main Street in Cedar Springs looked like, and many snowpiles across the area lingered til March. It kind of feels like that now, doesn’t it? Many are tired of the snow and ice and frigid temperatures. A couple of days in the 30s and 40s last week gave us hope that spring is right around the corner, but the return of sub-zero temps, more snow, and the forecast from WOOD-TV’s Bill Steffen has all but dashed those hopes. He says we are looking the rest of March to be colder than normal. In one of his updates last week, he said maybe Cedar Springs should start making some green flannels. If only we could, Bill! Thanks to Ed Bremmer for the photograph.

Posted in Featured, NewsComments (0)

Fun in the snow


N-Fun-in-snow-Guigelaar

We’ve had a lot of winter snow this year, but not a lot of “fun in the snow” photos. Here we see Harrison Guigelaar, 21 months, of Nelson Township, having fun in the snow. Doesn’t it just want to make you smile?

 

Posted in NewsComments (0)

Keep sidewalks and hydrants clear of snow


Homeowners should keep fire hydrants clear and sidewalks shoveled. Photo courtesy of Howard City Police Department.

Homeowners should keep fire hydrants clear and sidewalks shoveled. Photo courtesy of Howard City Police Department.

We received messages from both the City of Cedar Springs and Howard City Police asking for people to keep sidewalks and hydrants clear of snow.

The City of Cedar Springs has an ordinance that requires homeowners and businesses to keep the sidewalks in front of their homes clear of snow and ice. If it happens during the day, the person has 12 hours after it stops to remove it, and if it happens overnight, they have until 6 p.m. the next day.

“The City could clear it and charge for it, or write a ticket if they chose to,” explained City Manager Thad Taylor. “But we haven’t wanted to do that with the harsh weather conditions we’ve had,” he explained, noting the amount of snow and below zero temps. “We understand that the weather has been brutal, but now that the temperature is climbing back up, we just need people to voluntarily take care of it.”

Taylor noted that the main reason for the ordinance is for safety reasons. Besides the obvious issue of slipping and falling, Taylor pointed out that if sidewalks aren’t clear, pedestrians must walk on the street. “If pedestrians and drivers are vying for the same space on the road, bad things could happen,” he said.

He also pointed out that there are some places where there is bone dry concrete. “A lot of people are taking care of it and we truly appreciate homeowners and business owners who are keeping their sidewalks clear,” said Taylor.

Fire hydrants also need to be clear of ice and snow, to help local firefighters in case of an emergency.

 

 

 

Posted in Featured, NewsComments (0)

MDOT warns motorists, private plows of winter hazards


CAR-Fast-FactsA private snowplow pushes snow into a state highway, causing a public plow to crash and roll over, injuring the driver. Meanwhile, in another area a motorist disregards winter conditions, traveling too fast and crashes into the rear of a Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) plow, disabling it.

Those are just two cases of hazardous actions in winter resulting in crashes earlier this month in Michigan, and in both cases taking two winter maintenance vehicles out of commission.

“Slippery roads, reduced visibility, and excessive speeds greatly reduce the margin of error in winter driving,” said State Transportation Director Kirk T. Steudle. “We implore private plow operators and motorists to be extra cautious, and avoid doing anything that adds to the hazards of winter driving or roadway maintenance.”

Two main concerns are when residents and businesses pile snow at the ends of driveways along the highway shoulder, and when snow is pushed across the road, leaving snow or slush on the road surface.

The Michigan Vehicle Code prohibits depositing “snow, ice, or slush on any roadway or highway,” and “the obstruction of safety vision by removal or deposit of snow, ice, or slush.” This includes the end of driveways, where banked snow can reduce visibility for vehicles trying to enter the roadway. Leaving a trail of snow on the pavement while plowing across the road also can create an added hazard to unsuspecting motorists and to road maintenance personnel.

Motorists also should be particularly careful around winter maintenance snowplows and salt trucks. These large, powerful vehicles may be traveling at slower speeds than vehicles around them, and may be obscured by blowing snow.

“For your safety and the safety of our operators, it’s important to give snowplows a buffer to do their work,” Steudle said.

Some tips for motorists encountering snowplows:

• Snowplows have limited visibility and drivers cannot see directly behind their trucks;

• Snowplows often throw up clouds of snow behind them, reducing visibility for drivers following behind them;

• Motorists should never attempt to pass a moving snowplow on the right. With new wing plows and tow plows, the blade can clear the shoulder and the lane of travel simultaneously. Motorists attempting an illegal pass through a snow cloud on the right and/or shoulder of the road most likely won’t see the plow blade and run the risk of a serious crash; and

• MDOT snowplows throughout Michigan will be driving at 25 mph when applying salt, which helps keep more salt on the roadway driving lanes where it is most effective. Snowplows may travel at up to 45 mph when plowing only.

MDOT says: Drive like you want to make it home tonight.

 

Posted in NewsComments (0)