Drivers and road crews prepare for winter storm

Drivers and road crews prepare for winter storm

CHARLEVOIX COUNTY, Mich. (WPBN/WGTU) -- As northern Michigan braces for this weekend's winter storm, drivers and local road crews are getting ready to battle the wet, heavy snow that's in the forecast.

The mid-April storm is causing a lot of people in the northern lower peninsula to change their weekend plans.

“I’m supposed to go down to Traverse City Sunday for my nephew’s birthday party, but I guess we’ll see how bad it gets," said Eric Fettig.

Depending on where the storm hits, areas in Emmet, Charlevoix and Cheboygan counties could see almost a foot of snow fall.

“Leave plenty of distance and allow extra time,” Fettig said.

Snowy roads will mean a busy weekend for towing companies.

“Typically, it ramps up two to two and a half times of what we’re normally seeing on a normal weekend day," said Greg Nienhouse, from Brickyard Towing.

Brickyard Towing will bring in extra staff this weekend to help deal with the extra calls.

In Charlevoix County, a wintry mix started Friday afternoon.

That area got over a foot of snow last week.

Now, with another foot in the forecast, the road commission is getting ready again.

“We’re going to treat this just as if it was a storm in January," said Pat Harmon from the Charlevoix County Road Commission. "It would be nice if it wouldn’t have happened, but we’ll see. Maybe it won’t be as bad as they predict.”

With this weekend's winter weather starting with a layer of rain, crews might put down a layer of salt to pre-treat the roads.

“They’re going to have to slow down," Harmon said. "Ground temperatures come up a little bit, and if we do get the snow, it’s going to be thawing from both top and bottom so it’s going to be very slippery."

The wet, heavy snow in the forecast is more difficult and takes longer to clear off the roads.

The Charlevoix County Road commission says this time of the year is usually slow, and preparing for this storm won't interfere with other projects.

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