Worst is over, but more snow on the way for Metro Detroit

Snowmageddon's strength finally is nearing an end. 

Snow continued to blanket Metro Detroit Saturday, but the worst is over. For now. Keep the shovel, salt, and brooms handy, because a lighter version is on the way. 

Justin Roberts, of Troy, is snow covered as he and his dog Lacey sled down the hill at Madison Heights Civic Center Park in Madison Heights as snow continues to fall on Friday.

"Light snow is expected to continue on and off throughout the afternoon Saturday and then from around 6 pm to midnight, there will be a break," said Jordan Dale, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in White Lake Township. "Later tonight and throughout the day on Sunday, there will be another accumulation snow event."

Dale said the fresh snowfall is expected to begin around 3 am Sunday and last through the late afternoon.

"Sunday night, temperatures are going to fall into the single digits to the low teens," said Dale. "As we head into Monday, it will be mostly sunny with highs in the mid-20s."

He said next week should be much drier.

"The next chance of precipitation may be Wednesday night or Thursday, with highs near 40."

Dale said on Friday, February 9, 9.2 inches of snow fell at Metro Airport. The high was 26 with a low of 13. On February 9, 2017, Dale said the temperatures were similar, with a high of 26 and a low of 17. But there was only .4 inches of snow recorded.   

Meanwhile, neighborhood streets in Detroit are being plowed.

About 40 percent of residential streets have been plowed by contractors as of 4 pm Saturday according to the Department of Public Works. The city will send out its own inspectors to verify the work has been reported as completed.

"Crews started at 6 am today (Saturday) and they will continue for the next 24 hours," said Department of Public Works spokeswoman Tiffany Crawford. "They will make one pass down the middle of the street to make it passable for residents."

She said this will include 1,880 miles of residential streets.

"Our DPW crews  will continue to plow major streets until Monday morning," she said. "Our five contracting companies who are assisting us, are plowing the residential streets."

Residents are urged not to park on side streets if possible while private contractors work at clearing the snow.

Friday's snow storm has left treacherous roads and forced the cancellation of hundreds of schools and more than 130 flights. It also caused a nearly 50-vehicle pileup in Kalamazoo County on the west side of the state. 

Vehicles rest along the snowbound shoulder along Interstate 94 on Friday near Galesburg, Michigan, after an accident that involved scores of cars and trucks.

A section of Interstate 94 in southwestern Michigan was blocked after dozens of vehicles crashed amid heavy snowfall.

Michigan State Police said about 50 vehicles were involved in the Friday afternoon pileup in the highway’s eastbound lanes just east of Kalamazoo.

Several cars, SUVs and semitrailers slid into each other or into the ditch along the highway. A Michigan State Police trooper was taken to a hospital after a pickup lost control and slammed into his squad car while he was stopped on Interstate 94 northeast of Detroit.

The National Weather Service said the Kalamazoo area had seen at least 6 inches of fresh snowfall since late Thursday before the crashes.

And near Flint, police say one person was killed when a semitrailer didn’t stop in time and crushed a car that was stopped in traffic on U.S. 23 .

In Metro Detroit, the highest snowfall totals recorded late Friday evening included 8.9 inches in Saline, 8.7 inches at Detroit Metro Airport, 8.5 inches in Wyandotte, 8.3 inches in Belleville and 6.5 inches in Rochester Hills. 

Michigan State Police responded to a number of one-vehicle accidents in Metro Detroit Friday, most involving drivers who were going too fast on the snow-covered roads, Lt. Mike Shaw said. 

Shaw said none of the accidents was serious. He urged motorists to stay off the roads the rest of Friday evening so crews could clear the snow. 

Motorists encounter whiteout conditions along Rochester Road and 12 Mile in Royal Oak on Friday.

"A lot of people heeded our advice to stay home today,"' Shaw said. "So that reduced the amount of traffic on the roads."

More: In Metro Detroit, snow keeps some home, draws others outdoors

There is a chance for continuing snow showers overnight, Frey said.

The snow falling now is more like a “drier, fluffier snow,” he said.

Relentless snowfall in Oakland County was no match for Cathy Mackool and her plans to fetch her 83-year-old mother and a friend from their Berkley apartment Friday afternoon and drive snow-covered roads to a nail salon for a manicure and pedicure.

“Took my four-wheel-drive truck over to Oxford Towers to drive my mom and her friend to Eagle Nails. There are some things that the ladies need to do no matter what,” Mackool said.

It was mostly business as usual for the state government in Lansing. The state did not close any office buildings to the snow, but some employees were allowed to work from home.

Snow across southern and central Michigan ranged up to 7 inches or more on the western side of the state.

Hopeful travelers trying to get out of town at Detroit Metro Airport braved long security lines and some trepidation early Friday. A line of at least 200 people waited to clear security around 6 a.m. Friday. 

Debra Ackerman, 46, had planned to be on a flight to San Diego at 8:35 a.m. before it was canceled at 6 a.m. Friday. 

"I'm now rebooked on another Spirit flight expected to leave around 1," said Ackerman, a Novi resident. "I'm not sure if it's the snow or what's the deal, but I knew this would happen. Luckily, I had trip insurance and they automatically rebooked me. I'm going for a week so it's not major if I don't get there today."

Crystal Carroll said she left her home near Gratiot Avenue and Interstate 696 in Roseville a little earlier Friday morning to get to her bus stop.

“I was hoping the bus would be on time,” she said.

Carroll, 46, aid she takes the bus to her job at a restaurant every day. She was at the stop by 7:30 a.m. to catch her 7-minute ride and be at work by 8 a.m.

She said she bundled up for the snow as well.

Carroll said she thinks Friday’s snowstorm is the kind cities in New York and the East Coast are usually socked with.

“You know they always say we’re going to get so many inches of snow and it never happens because the storms pass us by,” she said. “Since I don’t know what’s going to happen, I try to be prepared. That’s why I’m out here early.”

In Roseville early Friday, George Glass said he keeps warm by dressing in layers and wearing leather pants.

Down the road, George Glass of Roseville was waiting for his bus near Martin Road.

He said he was heading to work at an auto body shop in Mount Clemens.

“It’s not as bad as it’s been before,” he said. “If people take their time and be cautious, everything will be fine.”

He said his secret weapon against the cold is leather pants.

“I’m layered,” he said. “They keep me warm.”

Extended forecast

Sunday: Snow, mainly before 4pm. High near 28. New snow accumulation of around 2 inches.

Monday: Sunny, with a high near 26. 

Tuesday: Partly sunny, with a high near 32.

Wednesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 38.

Thursday: Partly sunny, with a high near 41.

Source: National Weather Service

Staff writers Leonard N. Fleming and Jonathan Oosting contributed