Icy weather lasting into late evening, according to NWS

By: Mike Koury | Online Only | Published December 28, 2015

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OAKLAND COUNTY — Beginning Monday afternoon, Oakland County, as well as a greater part of the state, was hit with an ice storm that meteorologists said will cause hazardous road conditions and possible power outages.

The forecasts from the National Weather Services’ Grand Rapids Office state Oakland County might be hit with around one tenth of an inch of ice on the ground.

NWS meteorologist T.J. Turnage said, by itself, the ice might not be a big deal, but with strong winds coming from the east, from 20 to 30 mph, it could cause accidents and power outages.

“You combine the ice accumulation with the winds that could cause some branches and trees (to come) down possible, as well as power lines,” he said. “So the main concern is going to be is power outages, possibly widespread, and also maybe some impacts to some secondary roads.”

Turnage said the icy rain started to come down early afternoon and could last for several hours until 9 or 10 p.m.

“It may not be heavy that entire time,” he said. “There may be certain times when it’s a little heavier. A little bursts.”

The conditions of the storm have become serious enough Gov. Rick Snyder activated the State Emergency Operations Center, which will run until operations are not needed, according to a press release. The center will work with local communities to provide any assistance needed in response to the winter storm.

“The safety of all Michiganders is our top priority, and the heavy snowfall and freezing rain could create hazardous conditions in much of our state,” Snyder said in the release. “Residents should pay close attention to advisories and staff off the roads if at all possible. State authorities continue to closely monitor the situation and are sharing information and coordinating with communities to keep everyone as safe as possible.”

Oakland County Sheriff's Captain Joseph Quisenberry said his advice would to not be driving out on the road at all if possible, but if someone must, be prepared with supplies in case one were to be involved in an accident.

“If you must go out, make sure that your vehicle has things like a blanket, emergency water; something in case there was an accident in which you were stranded and it would take an emergency vehicle a long time to get to you,” he said.

Quisenberry said, in situations like this, it’s best to keep informed about what’s going on with the conditions, and if someone is on the road, be very patient and allow yourself more time to get home.

“Under slippery conditions, I would suggest to allow yourself at least twice the time to get where you need to be, and be very, very patient with the conditions, and do not drive at a speed in which you can’t have control of your car,” he said.