Rain and Snow Create Rough Roads in Northern Michigan
Some of northern Michigan experienced a decent amount of rain over the weekend, but as temperatures went back down, the snow has returned.
Lt. Mark Giannunzio of the Michigan State Police said that creates some dangerous road conditions. “The roads just don’t know what they’re going to be like, how they want to be right now, wet, icy snowy, but all the same they’re all treacherous right now,” he said.
With the roads unpredictable, it could cause confusion among drivers about how fast they should be going. “Some people think ‘well ok the rain isn’t as bad as the icy roads’ so maybe they tend to drive quicker than they should be, not realizing that the rain could easily turn into a sheet of ice and really cause some difficulties out there on the roadways,” said Lt. Ginannunzio.
The snow may have stayed away for the weekend, but the Otsego County Road Commission always has a crew on deck to deal with these changes in weather. “We have 22 snowplow drivers that are ready to go at a moments notice,” said Kirk Harrier, managing director. “We have a night crew, two equipment operators that work throughout the winter and they’re on duty seven days a week.”
However, rain and snow can presents it’s own problem. “When we have the rain in the wintertime like this, the problem is the water doesn’t have anywhere to go from the roadway because the snow that’s still on the shoulders,” said Harrier. “We had some water issues where the roads were covered with water and that causes a set of problems.”
Both the road commission and MSP urge drivers to maintain distance from snow plows while they work to clear the roads.