Snow piles up in SE Michigan; cold, clear on Friday

The Detroit News

Snow blanketed the region Thursday into early Friday, and now the cold has settled in.

Totals late Thursday showed 5.5 inches in Ann Arbor, 3.6  inches in Wolverine Lake, 5 inches in Rochester and Farmington, 4.9 in Howell, 3.8 in Troy and 3.5 in Beverly Hills, according to the weather service.

Update:How much snow? Quick storm dumps several inches; wind and cold for weekend

Snow drifting and blowing are possible as winds gust near 25 mph and temperatures plunge near 10.

Snowfall complicated the evening rush-hour commute. Michigan State Police and the Michigan Department of Transportation reported multiple crashes on area roads. By early Friday morning, there were a couple of minor incidents on freeways, though the Michigan Department of Transportation closed southbound US-23 around 5:30 a.m. due to a crash near the Carpenter Road exit north of Milan.

In southwest Michigan on Thursday, state police reported crashes and pileups on Interstate 94, near Paw Paw and along US 131 near Kalamazoo, they said on Twitter. The reason: "Drivers going too fast. Please slow down and #DriveMichiganSafely."

In Metro Detroit, MSP report about 10 crashes at 4 p.m., about the time the snow grew heavier; by 5:30, another seven were reported. No details were provided on Twitter.

" ... Slow down, increase that driving distance ... making sure you have your lights on ...," First Lt. Mike Shaw said at 5:30 p.m. "... If this isn't your thing — there's a lot of people that can't drive in the snow, don't like driving in the snow — don't be embarrassed about it, just stay home. If you think you're a great driver in the snow, slow down, because you're really not that great as you think you are."

The prediction of snowfall also led dozens of school districts to cancel classes for Friday

A flood warning remains until 10 a.m. Friday for parts of southeast Michigan. Flooding has already occurred along the Black River, Mill Creek and drainages into the Black River in St. Clair County. The Black River gage at town of Jeddo in the Thumb was at 10.26 feet at 9 p.m. and was expected to crest at a stage of between 11 and 12 feet Thursday.

Earlier, rainfall totals in west Michigan ranged from 1.02 inches in Grand Rapids to 1.47 inches in east Saugatuck. In Zeeland, a flood from the Macatawa River closed 104th Avenue south of Adams. In Hillsdale, there were reports of water approaching homes near the Hillsdale Airport.

On Friday, the mercury could top out in the low 20s, with wind chill readings near zero.