Wexford Co. Road Commission Ready For First Widespread Winter Weather

Preparing to face those winter roads is a tall task for the public and cities alike.

Charlie Tinker paid the Wexford County Road Commission and drivers a visit.

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“Are you ready for winter?”

“Absolutely,” responded seasoned driver Carol Nilsson.

“I’ve got a four wheel car and I’m ready,” from a confident Jacklynn Haner. “Bring it on.”

Ready or not — soon streets could turn into concrete ‘slip n’ slides’.

Carol Nilsson’s snow tires went on Thursday.

“The boots are out, but I haven’t worn them yet,” said Carol, wearing sandals when we flagged her down. “I’m still going spring today, but I have a feeling tomorrow, I’m going to be going winter.”

“It’s Northern Michigan… It can blow up any time,” warned Alan Cooper in an interview Friday. “That’s what we do, we get ready for winter and we’re ready to go.”

Alan Cooper heads up the Wexford County Road Commission.

Heading into this wintry weekend–like Santa Claus–he has a list and he’s checked it twice.

“We’ve got trucks that, should it have snowed a month ago, we could get out there and sand and blade,” continued Cooper in a garage jam-packed with dozens of plow trucks and road commission graders. “The guys are on-call 24/7 so we’re ready to go. This break has been nice but it’s time for winter.”

The commission, arming its trucks this season with a brand new weapon:

A green, flashing light that will—the hope is—tell drivers not to pass its plows on the right (which is illegal, but a problem nonetheless), give plows room to do their jobs and as a result, lower the risk of a crash.

“According to Michigan State Police, in 2015, there were 42,000 traffic accidents related to bad winter weather, 70 of them fatal. Is that a number that scares you at all?” “Yes it does,” responded Crystal Tupper.

Crystal is ready, but concerned for her newly licensed 16-year-old daughter.

“This will be her first winter driving and it does scare me because of the other people out on the road,” said Tupper. “Hopefully, I’ve prepared her and she remembers everything she’s been taught.”