Snow, freezing rain, and ice threaten safety on the roads and power outages
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 21, 2023
LANSING, MICH. The Michigan State Police (MSP) is encouraging residents and visitors to prepare for a mix of winter weather that could lead to dangerous driving conditions and power outages. This winter storm is expected to bring up to a foot of snow to the upper peninsula and northern, lower Michigan and drop a coating of heavy ice across Mid-Michigan in the lower peninsula.
“With potentially dangerous winter weather on the way, it is important to prepare and be ready ahead of time to keep yourself, your family, and your neighbors safe,” said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. “The State of Michigan is closely watching conditions as they develop and taking action to prepare for winter weather impacts. We will continue working hard to protect the health and safety of Michiganders and are grateful for the dedicated first responders working to keep Michiganders safe this weekend.”
According to the National Weather Service (NWS), the area between the I-96/I-69 and I-94 corridor could be the hardest hit with ice. This includes the cities of Grand Rapids, Flint, Lansing, and Jackson. A wintery mix of sleet and freezing rain is expected to start late morning Wednesday and continue into Wednesday night. Travel conditions are expected to deteriorate quickly throughout the day and turn dangerous for the afternoon and evening commutes. Power outages are also expected, as ice freezes powerlines and winds gust over 40mph.
Heavy snowfall is forecast for the upper peninsula and northern, lower peninsula, with six to 12 inches of accumulation predicted into Wednesday night. According to the NWS, areas south of Kalamazoo and Detroit may see more rain than ice due to warmer temperatures.
“We have enjoyed an unusually sunny February, but we are now reminded that it is still winter here in Michigan,” said Col. Joe Gasper, director of the MSP. “With this potentially dangerous storm hitting across the state, we advise all Michiganders to take precautions and avoid non-essential travel when possible.”
Driving tips during winter weather:
- Check the weather before leaving for a destination. If the weather forecast looks dangerous, reschedule, or postpone the trip, if possible.
- Do not crowd snowplows. Give snowplow drivers plenty of room to clear snow from the roads.
- Keep tires at the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended pressure and routinely check tire pressure during cold weather.
- Make sure the windshield solvent reservoir is full and check the condition of all wiper blades and replace when necessary.
- Wash your vehicle for better visibility to other drivers. Remove ice and snow from all lights, windows, and license plate before driving.
- Periodically check all lights and replace when necessary.
- Keep an emergency preparedness kit in your vehicle stocked with batteries, battery powered or hand-crank radio, flashlight, windshield scraper, jumper cables, shovel, blankets, first aid kit, non-perishable food, and bottled water in the event you get stranded or stuck.
For more information on how to prepare before, during, and after an emergency or disaster, visit www.michigan.gov/miready or follow MSP/EMHSD on Twitter at @MichEMHS.