UPDATE, POLL: City, county governments say 'Stay home'
Wed, 02 Feb 2011 13:30:40 GMT —
Updated at 3 p.m. Wednesday: According to Consumers Energy, 350 people across the state are without power. The numbers in our viewing area are:
Saginaw County 135Gratiot County 52Genesee 9
Updated at 1:19 p.m. Wednesday: More evening activities are being canceled by the minute. We have a list running on-air and on our website.
The snow accumulation part of the storm is beginning to wind down, but blowing and drifting will continue to cause travel problems even into tomorrow. Here are snow totals as of 1 p.m. Wednesday.
Freeland 11.5 inchesHemlock 11 inchesFlushing 9 inchesCaro 10.7 inchesStandish 13 inchesWest Branch 8.8 inchesMio 7.5 inchesNBC25 in Clio 11 inches
Updated at 11:22 a.m. Wednesday: The calls for closings keep rolling in to the newsroom. Bay City Mall is closed for the day, as are all Chemical Bank locations in the area. Our reporters are out and about gathering news for this evening.
Elizabeth MacFarland and photographer Brett Dickie picked up a Hurley worker this morning and took her to work. Other reporters are checking on the status of the roads and are finding out how people are handling the storm. Look for those stories later on ConnectMidMichigan.com.
Updated at 9:49 a.m. Wednesday: Saginaw County Central Dispatch Director Tom McIntyre said the center is busier than he thought it would be Wednesday."With nearly everything canceled, I didn't think it would be this busy," McIntyre said. "There have been no report calls, but rather calls saying, 'I'm stuck and the wrecker won't come get me.' " McIntyre said some fire departments are helping with stranded vehicles and the emergency route committee has been activated.
"People aren't used to hunkering down and staying home," McIntyre said. "They just think they can get out at any time."
Update at 9:28 a.m. Wednesday: Mary Gust from Consumers Energy is reporting that 4,300 customers across the state are without service. The list in our coverage area is below. Considering the snow totals, that's a pretty low number.
"During the blizzard of 2007, we had 127,000 outages," Gust said. To report an outing, call (800) 477-5050. "Always give us a call," Gust said. "Don't assume we know."
Saginaw County: 1,169Bay County: 50Gratiot County: 2,113Midland County: 99Genesee County: 35
Update at 9:02 a.m. Wednesday: Many county and city governments and support agencies are strongly urging residents in the NBC25 viewing area to stay off the roads.
Many roads are impassable and will be until the weather subsides. Many vehicles, including four-wheel drive vehicles and tow trucks are having difficulty navigating the roads.
Some snow totals from the first wave of this storm so far range from 5 to as much as 10 inches with drifts of 2 to 4 feet in open areas. Many schools, daycares, businesses, retail stores and government offices are closed. Call ahead if you must go out. Many accidents have been reported and only emergency travel is recommended.
The second wave of this storm is moving in with another 2 to 5 inches expected with bursts of heavy snow late this morning and early this afternoon. Blowing and drifting will continue to be an issue tonight and even into tomorrow as well, even after the snow ends late this afternoon.
Blizzard warnings remain in effect for the Lake Huron and Saginaw Bayshore counties with Winter Storm Warnings for much of the remainder of the area.
Many roads are snow covered and slippery, according to the Michigan State Police road advisory site. Blowing snow has caused drifting and reduced visibility.