MID-MICHIGAN (WJRT) (1/12/2018) - A storm system that started with freezing rain and ended with up to 6 inches of snow left a slippery mess for motorists to negotiate Friday.
Rainfall started in the wee hours of Friday morning, washing away what little snow was left after record high temperatures on Wednesday and Thursday.
Rapidly falling temperatures caused the wet roads to freeze, then some light freezing rain further coated the roads. Snowfall lasting much of Friday morning buried the ice in several inches.
Slippery conditions persisted on area roadways through the evening commute. Many highways were still slow-going tonight as drivers continue to slip, slide and crash.
The Genesee County 911 Communications Center reported nearly 20 active crash scenes at the height of the evening rush.
Genesee County Road Commission Manager-Director John Daly said the agency was busy all day plowing and salting roadways, starting on freeways and major roadways.
"We've got 27 trucks out," he said Friday morning. "What they're doing is they're scraping the ice off the roads and putting down salt at the exits, intersections, bridge decks."
Daly said the rain, freezing rain and snow mix over about 12 hours made road crews' jobs a little tougher.
"It's sticking to the roadway and the cars drive over it and it just packs it down so that's what we have to scrape off so we put down the granular salt so that it will stay there longer," he said.
Road commission and Michigan Department of Transportation crews tackled the ice and snow all day, with some crews expected to work into the overnight hours.
"The next 24 hours is going to be a period when people need to take their time, take a look and see if this is something we can postpone until tomorrow and don't crowd the plow and give enough distance between you and the vehicle ahead of you," Daly said.
Michigan State Police are reminding drivers who get in an accident or spin out to remain in their vehicles until first responders arrive. Motorists should only get out if their muffler is covered in a snow bank or there are injuries.