Rain, snow create less than ideal conditions in NE Michigan

News Photo by Jordan Spence Carl Kasubowski salts the sidewalk outside of the Alpena County Library Friday.

ALPENA — Northern Michigan weather can be unpredictable sometimes. Thursday night’s snow storm coupled with Friday’s thunderstorms proved just that.

According to the National Weather Service, Northeast Michigan was expected to see freezing drizzles through Friday night before it switches to snow by this morning. Forecast showed all of Alpena, Montmorency and Presque Isle counties could expect to see up to one-tenth of an inch of ice making for hazardous travel.

“It’s still winter in northern Michigan and people must understand that whatever vehicle you have, you’ve got to slow down,” Alpena Police Chief Joel Jett said. “This is what we preach to keep people safe.”

Jett said emergency crews responded to several accidents throughout the county because of the weather conditions. Jett said travelers should follow three main rules when driving: slow down, be seen and be aware.

This means driving cautiously, turning on the vehicle’s light and paying attention to the roadway and not texting or tuning the radio.

Alpena County Road Commission Managing Director Larry Orcutt said the weather presented different road conditions for different roads in the area. He said while some roads were wet and slushy, others were wet and icy.

“It is definitely the time of the year when we need to use caution because of the changing conditions within the hour and the different types of roads,” he said.

Over the weekend there is a chance for more snow, rain and freezing rain with wind gusts up to 30 mph.

Todd Behring, managing director of the Montmorency Road Commission, said his crews would be out monitoring the road but ultimately is is up to drivers to be the judge.

“If people don’t need to travel they shouldn’t be out there,” he said. “Just stay home if you can.”

Tyler Winowiecki can be reached via email at twinowiecki@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5688. Follow Tyler on Twitter tw_alpenanews.