Snow continues to fall with the heaviest snow continuing to focus south of the Interstate 69 corridor into Oakland and Wayne counties. Rates of about a half-inch per hour are expected through Friday morning, according to the National Weather Service.
A winter storm warning is in effect until midnight. A snowfall total of 6-9 inches is expected as the storm will continue steadily throughout the day, officials said.
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About 5 inches of snow had fallen in Shelby Township by noon, according to the National Weather Service in White Lake Township. Wixom reported more than 4.6 inches of snow, Ypsilanti had 4.2 inches and Roseville had 4 inches by lunchtime.
Light traffic was moving slowly on snow-covered roads. Around 9 a.m. on the Lodge, there were clear lanes with most traffic moving between 40-50 mph.
Craig Bryson, spokesperson for the Road Commission of Oakland County, described roads as of 10 a.m. as “ still a mess” with about 2-3 inches of snow reported in most Oakland County communities. The RCOC is responsible for 2,700 miles of county roads and 230 miles of state roads under contract with the Michigan Department of Transportation.
“We have had crews out since 3 a.m. but it seems to be coming down now in some parts as better than an inch an hour and that’s hard to keep up with,” said Bryson. “The good news is, forecasts have backed off how long this may last into the afternoon. And if that holds true, it could give us an opportunity to clean the roads up before the afternoon commuter rush home.”
Bryson said the focus is on major roads first and secondly, cleaning out subdivision and back unpaved roads in the county.
“We have had a fleet of 106 trucks out since 3 a.m. and the challenge is to get to the subdivisions over the next couple days. We will likely be calling in some private contractors to help with that if snow continues. But the major roads first.”
Bryson said school closures have helped road crews do their jobs because there have been fewer cars on the road. Crews that came on between 1 and 3 a.m. Friday will be sent home around 7 p.m. and others brought on so workers can “get about five and a half hours rest and come back to work until the job is done.”
Staff writer Charles E. Ramirez contributed