MID-MICHIGAN (WJRT) (12/29/2017) - A light snowfall overnight coupled with continued frigid temperatures led to slick roadways throughout Mid-Michigan on Friday morning.
This crash on I-69 near Irish Road was one of several dozen reported across Mid-Michigan on Friday after a half-inch of fresh snow overnight led to slippery road conditions.
Dozens of crashes were reported across the region before noon, most involving vehicles skidding into ditches or guardrails. Road conditions slowly improved through the afternoon as sunshine helped melt the fresh snow.
Generally less than a half-inch of snow fell across Mid-Michigan overnight. But with temperatures hovering in the single-digits salt wouldn't help melt it.
"The snow that's coming down, because the temperature is so low, is very dry," said John Daly, the manager of the Genesee County Road Commission. "It's very light snow and, as such, it's a great lubricant when it sits out there and if you get caught on it it's almost like being on ball bearings. So we will be putting down the salt-sand mix."
Genesee County reported more than two dozen active crash scenes at one point Friday morning. Police were still responding to more than a dozen at a time throughout the morning.
A stretch of I-675 in Saginaw closed for a while late Friday morning after authorities decided it was too slick for traffic. It reopened later after crews laid down a salt and sand mixture.
The number of crashes fell steadily throughout the afternoon to less than five by 3:30 p.m.
Daly said conditions Friday morning made plow drivers' jobs difficult.
"We'll put down a salt-sand mix at bridge decks, entrances and exits from the freeway systems, busy intersections, principally on the primary road system," he said. "We'll put down that same mix on curves."
Authorities were urging drivers to slow down until road conditions improve.