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      Dangerous roads plague drivers

      "I f you get north or south of here it's just like an ice skating rink ," Boyne Falls Driver Scott Erickson explained.

      I n Charlevoix County, US 131 is a slippery stretch during any winter storm and it is where most of the county's accidents happen. Road crews do their best to keep it clear, but when the temperatures drop and the slushy roads freeze, it becomes a hazard for anyone on the road.

      " It just takes much longer to get it accomplished the trucks can take off and slide out of control and they end up in the ditch as easy if not easier than a regular vehicle," Charlevoix Road Commission Manager Pat Harmon said.

      I n Emmet County, there are many roads that crews consider more dangerous than others.

      M aple River road off of US 31, Robinson road off of M-119 and here at Mitchell road in Bear Creek township. With winding roads and large hills, road crews have to use special tactics which can slow down the cleaning process.

      " They have to back up them sand them driving backwards and it's just not a good deal it's not fun it's slow going and probably takes 2 to 3 times as long to get the miles covered," Harmon said.

      B oth Charlevoix and Emmet Counties have 20 plus crews out on the road tonight. Each truck is plowing and dropping a salt and sand mixture to help melt ice and build traction..

      " As long as we don't get that real cold temp e rature where everything will flash f r eeze we should be in good shape, should be like any good old winter driving day ," Harmon said.