UPDATE: Saturday pre-Christmas storm: Snow, gusty, windy are expected
KENT KENT, MI — Persistent snow and high winds combined to make Christmas Eve a dangerous time to drive in the Grand Rapids area, officials said.
“Our message is, once again, don’t drive if you don’t have to,” Kent County Road Commission officials advised in a news release Saturday morning, Dec. 24.
Daytime road crews departed as scheduled at 6 a.m., taking over for night crews. Crews are working with front plows and graders in whiteout, blizzard-like conditions to try to reopen roads today, officials said.
Low visibility continues with zero visibility in some rural areas in Kent County. Some areas have reported impassable conditions due to more than a foot of snow on the roads, officials said.
The road commission’s goal Saturday is to create “passable conditions” on these types of rural roads, especially those running north and south, to open them up for emergency services, officials said. Continuous coverage will be in place on state roads and high-volume primary roads that were addressed overnight but still suffer from rough and icy conditions, officials said.
With roads across the county still icy, strong winds continuing and visibility limited, drivers should use extreme caution when traveling, officials said.
Based on the forecast, officials estimate the county will be able to apply full applications of de-icing chemicals Sunday through Monday. With the current wind chill below freezing, the blowing wind would spread the salt and cause it to thin and freeze, creating a thicker layer of ice, officials said.
More weather coverage on MLive:
Governor Whitmer activates the emergency operations center in response to the storm
Dangerous sub-zero wind chills to continue, how to spot the signs of frost
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