Year in Review: Mid-Michigan weather - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Year in Review: Mid-Michigan weather

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(12/31/13) - 2013 was a year of active weather across Mid-Michigan. While we didn't have a lot of severe weather this year, what we did have was intense at times and caused some damage.

When we weren't shoveling snow, we were bailing out water, dodging tornadoes or dealing with massive power outages. Mother Nature threw everything but the kitchen sink at us this year, starting with a good old-fashioned snowstorm, and ending with the most significant ice storm in a decade.

2013 started off like most Mid-Michigan winters, before a storm on Feb. 7 and 8 landed a major punch, dropping up to 11 inches of snow near Midland.

Residents fired up snow blowers and grabbed shovels to dig out.

As Midland native Marlene Wainwright put it, "It's exercise. That's what makes you feel good, keeps you healthy. Even though I'm limited, I'm not going to stop."

The year ended with an even bigger winter wallop, an uncommon event that affected hundreds of thousands of Mid-Michigan residents. A crippling ice storm snapped tree limbs and power lines, sending tens of thousands into darkness - some for more than a week. More than a half inch of ice covered parts of Shiawassee, Genesee, Lapeer and Sanilac Counties.

The hum of generators could be heard on darkened streets while out of state utility crews joined forces with Consumers Energy and DTE workers to repair broken wires. "Our line crews are professionals. Every person on the Consumers Energy team is focused on getting everybody's power back," said Consumers Energy Vice President Patti Poppe.
Unfortunately, fallen power lines brought more than just inconvenience for some. A fire in Flint destroyed Irving Crowder's home.

"I called 911. By the time they got here, it was fully engulfed in flames," he said.

Other area residents spent time with family or friends, as well as warming centers, which opened to assist those without power.

The year had some notable spring and summer events, too.

Spring flooding was a hot topic in Mid-Michigan. The month of April landed in the record books as the wettest ever with more than 6 inches of rain reported in Flint and just over 7 at MBS Airport in Saginaw County.

Roads looked more like lakes, and some snagged drivers who didn't heed the rising water.

Homeowners along the swollen Shiawassee River had reason to be nervous.

"If we get another 2 or 3 inches of rain or even one or two, it's going to come up real fast," said Merilee Waters, who lives along the Shiawassee River.

"It's the house I'm worried about a little bit because the sump pump is old and it's going to take a while to get the water out if it finally gets out," said Heather Brown, who also lives along the Shiawassee River.

The next month also brought severe weather.

On May 28, several destructive tornadoes tracked across portions of Shiawassee, Genesee and Lapeer Counties. The strongest, packing 115 mph winds hit Fenton Township.

The twisters damaged properties like Sue Hegel's dog grooming business.

"I ran for the basement and I made it half-way down the basement steps. I really thought I was going to die," she said.

Volunteer help quickly arrived, including teams from Home Depot. Larry Smith organized a group from Fenton

"We pulled this all together, literally just through the night. I was e-mailing as early as 1 a.m. this morning, getting people riled up and going," Smith said.

Even inmates from the Genesee County Jail assisted with cleaning up debris from the storms.

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