Detroit— The good news: The up to 10 inches of snow that fell on Metro Detroit the past three days has finally stopped.
The bad news: It’s going to be very, very cold for the next few days.
“If you’re going out, make sure to bundle up,” said Sara Schultz, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. “There’s going to be potential for hypothermia and frostbite.”
Schultz said a wind chill advisory is in effect until noon today with temperatures predicted to plummet to between 5 and 10 degrees below zero into early this morning. Winds of 10-15 mph will result in wind chills of 17-23 degrees below zero, the weather service said.
More than two days of snowfall over southeastern Michigan left plenty to shovel and plow, leaving drivers frustrated by snowy, treacherous roads during the morning and afternoon rush hours. It made for slow travel and growing frustrations over how long it was taking to clear the streets of the season’s second major snowfall.
“It was slippery and sloppy,” said Paul Ewart, 58, of a drive to Eastpointe from his home in Grosse Pointe Woods.
Ewart, who repairs compactors and balers, said the weather prompted him to cancel a service call to Northville. “It’s an outdoors job,” he said. “I didn’t want to be outside working in 10 degree weather.”
Leo Ciavatta, maintenance superintendent for the Macomb County Department of Roads, said road conditions were improving by Thursday afternoon.
“It stopped snowing and we’ve started to get down to the pavement,” he said. “There’s still a lot of work to do yet.”
More than 20 drivers worked until midnight Thursday, Ciavatta said, and another shift was to start at midnight and work through 7 a.m. today.
In Oakland County, snowplowing crews started working at 11 p.m. New Year’s Eve. The county started with 56 drivers and ramped up to 100, said Road Commission for Oakland County spokesman Craig Bryson.
Wayne County’s Department of Services Road Division issued a full call of its crews beginning Wednesday.
In Detroit, the city’s Department of Public Works activated its snow removal policy and began clearing city streets, the administration of new Mayor Mike Duggan said Thursday afternoon. The city has three contractors that plow the city’s nearly 1,880 miles of residential streets.
AAA Michigan’s roadside assistance service helped thousands during the storm. Spokeswoman Nancy Cain said the Dearborn-based auto club called in extra workers.
Roads had improved by the evening commute, but weren’t ideal.
“The cold temperatures really hinders our progress because when it gets too cold, salt doesn’t work,” Ciavatta said. “And if the wind acts up, it just blows the snow back on the road and you can’t salt it because it won’t do anything.”
The city of Wyandotte appears to have been hit the hardest in the Detroit area, with a total of 9.9 inches of snow as of noon Thursday, according to the weather service. Richmond, in northern Oakland County, got only 2.2 inches.
Elsewhere in Michigan, 12 inches of snow fell in the southwestern Michigan community of Paw Paw, according to the weather service. More than 7 inches fell in Kalamazoo. Ice jams also prompted a flood advisory for the Pere Marquette River in Mason County and the Muskegon River in Osceola County.
Several communities declared snow emergencies Thursday.
The bitter cold and snow didn’t hamper travel at Detroit Metropolitan Airport, though there were a number of delayed or canceled flights from Chicago, New York and Newark. Flights were typically delayed 15 minutes or less, said Mike Conway, a spokesman for the airport.
Students at nearly a dozen schools won’t have class today due to the frigid temperatures.
The forecast for today is highs between 13 and 17 with lows of 7-11 degrees. Saturday and Sunday will have highs in the low- to mid-20s. But more frigid temperatures are forecast for early next week. Highs are expected to only reach the single digits Monday, drop to near zero Tuesday and remain below normal through the week.
Staff Writer Darren Nichols and the Associated Press contributed.