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Posted on Fri, Jan 25, 2013 : 12:50 p.m.

Snow ending in Ann Arbor after crash-filled morning on freeways

By Cindy Heflin


Students walk to class on the University of Michigan campus Friday.

Courtney Sacco |

The snow that coated roads and led to multiple crashes in Washtenaw County Friday morning will be ending this afternoon, the National Weather Service says.

Snow had already stopped in areas west of Washtenaw County shortly before 12:30 p.m., said Bryan Tilley, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in White Lake Township.

Flurries are possible in the afternoon, but any additional snow accumulation won’t amount to more than a dusting, he said.

As of 10 a.m., an inch of snow had been reported in Chelsea and 1.5 inches in Dexter. Tilley speculated up to an additional half-inch could have fallen since then.

University of Michigan weather observer Dennis Kahlbaum said about 2 inches had fallen in Ann Arbor by 3:20 p.m.

Motorists had trouble negotiating the snow-covered roads and freeways. A dispatcher with the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office couldn’t provide a total for the number of crashes but said it was more than 20.

No significant snowfall is in the immediate forecast for the Ann Arbor area. Friday night will be cold with the low dropping to about 12 degrees and wind-chill values as low as zero. Snow showers are possible.

Saturday will be partly sunny with a continued chance of snow showers. A high of 26 is expected, but wind-chill values will be as low as 2 below zero.

Partly sunny skies are expected Sunday with a high of 28. Sunday night, snow mixed with sleet accumulating to 1 to 2 inches is possible. Monday morning, the precipitation could change to freezing rain and then to all rain as a major warm-up begins. Forecasters expect a high of 40 degrees.

Tuesday will be even warmer with a high of 46. Temperatures will gradually cool later in the week, with highs in the 20s by Thursday.



Sat, Jan 26, 2013 : 4:43 p.m.

Coming from a city in which mayors are denied re-election because of late responses to snowstorms, I am disappointed in the county's road work during snowstorms here. As kittylady said, the plows and salt trucks should approach conditions proactively, and be ready to go as soon as the snow starts falling. The side streets here in Ypsi are usually plowed two to three days after a snowstorm. Ridiculous!


Sat, Jan 26, 2013 : 3:48 p.m.

So, now it's Saturday and it has warmed up and the roads are wet. So why is the plow going up and down Island Lake plowing the wet pavement? Is it justification for funds spent? Or does someone on the road commission live out here. I left a message the last time this happened with the Road Commission and no one called me back.


Sat, Jan 26, 2013 : 2:38 a.m.

Well, let me tell you all winter haters. There is more ice and snow on the way Monday morning. With Elementary still open? Might as well call it a day because it is going to be fun just like today.

Shi Schultz

Sat, Jan 26, 2013 : 1:52 a.m.

This story needs updating; snow was falling in Ypsi/Ann Arbor at 3pm and still heavy snow falling at 8:45pm. The roads are not entirely bad for being totally covered. Just drove I94 from state st. to Belleville and the only salt truck seen was one being towed. It seems to me the county's over prepare for larger 4"-8" storms but then can't contend with the smaller 1"-3" storms. I don't get it…


Fri, Jan 25, 2013 : 11:51 p.m.

I'm gonna go ahead and call you all whiney babies. The roads were totally fine today. I drove all over the county at up to 75 mph when the traffic allowed. I didn't see a single person in the ditch, guess my timing was just lucky. Get some snow tires and stop expecting your bald, bargain brand summer tires to do anything on snow or ice. I hate salt. Theoretically we should never need to use it. I will acknowledge that under certain conditions snow packs into a glaze of ice. Today was not one of those days, all roads were just wet with some slush and snow on them. It really comes down to driver skill and snow tires - You need at least one of those things, ideally both. Otherwise STAY OFF THE ROADS!


Fri, Jan 25, 2013 : 9:49 p.m.

Ludicrous snow removal at the city and county levels. Very poor, doesn't start until several hours after storms are dropping snow. No proactive maintenance on the part of the city or county. They sit around and hope it will melt. Sure, it will melt in March! My comment will probably be deleted since it's critical of the snow removal (or lack of) in the city and county. Who is censoring the critical comments?

Kyle Mattson

Sat, Jan 26, 2013 : 5:28 a.m.

No comments are being censored JRW, I'm not sure why you're getting that impression the only comments removed on this thread included profanity. If you have a more detailed concern with the maintenance I'd suggest submitting an opinion column on the topic by emailing


Fri, Jan 25, 2013 : 8:27 p.m.

i think is being a little heavy-handed with censoring comments. let's all be real here, the lackadaisical attitude of washtenaw county towards plowing and salting roads in a timely fashion borders on the criminal. in a state like michigan where severe winter weather is the norm, one of the most critical things local government can do is keep the roads clear. it's total nonsense that many citizens are stuck risking their lives in the morning trying to get to work because the county can't be bothered to get the roads clear till midday. thank god i've got some flex in my schedule so i can wait a few hours till it's safe(r) before departing home on days like today. i've visited many other counties in the wintertime: kalamazoo county, wayne county... they all seem MUCH more diligent about making sure the roads are clear than washtenaw county does. who do we have to vote out to fix this problem?

Kyle Mattson

Sat, Jan 26, 2013 : 5:25 a.m.

Sorry to burst your bubble sttc & JRW but its just our small crew here doing our best to keep the conversation civil and on topic. No one from the city or county has any role at in any way although we do welcome comments to be posted from such individuals if they would like to share their more direct insight into any situation. I understand that due to seeing the notification that a comment has been blocked numerous times on a single thread may make it appear that comments are being removed for a reason related to the article; however, they are actually simple violations of the community guidelines we have outlined for readers.


Fri, Jan 25, 2013 : 9:46 p.m.

Totally agree. Someone on these articles about crappy and unprofessional road maintenance in AA and the County is censoring critical posts. Maybe someone who works for the city or county is doing it. I don't know, but it's consistent. When there are critical comments, most posts are censored. AA dot com needs to allow open commentary on the poor road maintenance in the city and county.


Fri, Jan 25, 2013 : 8:58 p.m.

Ummmmmmmm, I'm guessing it's your county commissioner. You do know who that is, don't you?


Fri, Jan 25, 2013 : 8:21 p.m.

All this climate change has people crazy! Snow and cold in the winter....when will it all end?


Sat, Jan 26, 2013 : 12:03 a.m.

aduggs, if you refuse to do a single shred of research, please stay out of the discussion and let the adults try to adress the problem here. A simple google search for information would easily show you THAT THE PLANET IS WARMING. The average global surface temperature is most definitely rising. We have thermometers all over the planet. On average, temperatures are rising. 2012 was the hottest year EVER in north america. The REASON that intelligent people have switched to referring to this situation as climate change is because really, that's how the warming will most clearly affect us. Warmer air holds more moisture, leading to more severe storms. Weather patterns change, some places get drier, others get wetter. Some get a little cooler, but on average most areas are getting warmer. Will you notice a couple degrees of air temperature? Maybe not. But you'll notice when storms keep getting more and more severe (as they are starting to do)


Fri, Jan 25, 2013 : 11:55 p.m.

aduggs, it's not spin. when climate change occurs parts of the world will warm and parts of the world will cool. Just because scientists have attempted to be more clear about what is happening doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Your line of argument is "well, they used to call it global warming, and now they call it climate change, therefore, it doesn't exist." (it's not a good argument, in case you were wondering).


Fri, Jan 25, 2013 : 9:33 p.m.

Hmm, I seem to recall the term "global warming" being popular just a couple years back. Sorry, but you can't spin your way out and start calling it climate change now that the warming trend has halted.


Fri, Jan 25, 2013 : 9:28 p.m.

yeah, last winter we didn't get any snow. Again, Republican, please look up the difference between WEATHER and CLIMATE. Big difference there nek.


Fri, Jan 25, 2013 : 7:29 p.m.

Half the problem is motorist go 10 under the speed matter what the speed limit is. Works fine in the 40 mph zones but then when they get on the freeways, its time to go at least 50 mph. There should be a crackdown on motorists who crash in poor weather, come summer if you speed and crash, your likely in major trouble but in the winter its thought of no big deal if you go 55 in the snow and ice and spin out. Maybe it be unfair but come next snowfall, they be crashing away once again.


Sat, Jan 26, 2013 : 2:37 a.m.

Paul? I nearly wiped out because a motorist suddenly slammed on their brakes because a stupid motorist got out of their car on the wrong side of the road on a highway of all things. People you need to think when you get out of your cars. OMG. What a mess that would have been.


Fri, Jan 25, 2013 : 8:25 p.m.

Djacks, you should have put your second paragraph in a separate comment, not hid it under Paul's! That's the best point here.


Fri, Jan 25, 2013 : 7:55 p.m.

Your post makes no sense. Are you complaining about motorist going to fast or too slow? The real problem is tailgaters that choose to park on someones rear bumper who is going 10-15mph under the speed limit because the roads are bad. Another reason is so many drivers in poor driving conditions feeling they need to be close to other vehicles when they should be as far away as possible


Fri, Jan 25, 2013 : 7:06 p.m.

Washtenaw Country Road Commission must have been sleeping in this morning. Not ONE truck on the road as cars were all over the place. Great work!


Sat, Jan 26, 2013 : 2:17 p.m.

At 9:30 I saw one truck on Stadium heading towards Washtenaw. The roads were slushy and hard to manage. At 12:30 I was on 94 heading East. I saw one truck and the highway was a nightmare to navigate. People were flying by me like nothing. I hate to say it by the time I got home, there was one wipe out. Glad you got home flying but I took my time. It was not until 2:00 the highway was clear. Side streets are still a mess.


Sat, Jan 26, 2013 : 2:41 a.m.

jns131 You were on ONE of the roads so that means there were NO trucks out? Quite the logic.


Sat, Jan 26, 2013 : 2:35 a.m.

Not one salt truck was seen anywhere until 8am. I know, I was on one of these salt less roads by 7. Washtenaw County sucks in road plowing.


Fri, Jan 25, 2013 : 10:51 p.m.

RuralMom I know for a FACT most trucks were on the road BEFORE 8 am!


Fri, Jan 25, 2013 : 9:24 p.m.

That's because they weren't. In fact you will see in the original article, that the plows only left out to BEGIN servicing the roads at around 8:30am. We needed them out there at about 6:45am, on the NorthWest end of the county!~


Fri, Jan 25, 2013 : 7:16 p.m.

Strange I saw numerous trucks out.


Fri, Jan 25, 2013 : 7 p.m.

In Wayne county, the road commission is PROACTIVE and puts salt down BEFORE rush hour. As soon as I hit the Washtenaw County line, it is obvious that the policy is to be REACTIVE - Oh oh, cars are spinning out, maybe we ought to send out the road crews?

Tom Todd

Sat, Jan 26, 2013 : 5:22 p.m.

Wayne County roads will eat your car whole for lunch!!


Sat, Jan 26, 2013 : 2:33 a.m.

I have to agree with Wayne County vs Washtenaw County. Washtenaw use to brag about how clean their roads are or were. Our county sucks compared to Wayne county. We live less then 5 miles from their line. Let me tell you Washtenaw needs to learn a thing or two from Wayne. When we cross into Wayne? OMG let me tell you about clean roads. It is night and day. Washtenaw county? You suck when it comes to plowing. Wayne county? Keep up the great work. Maybe our county will learn from you?


Fri, Jan 25, 2013 : 6:49 p.m.

Ann Arbor has not plowed. Dumped a lot of salt and now the roads are thick with slush. Wait until that freezes!


Fri, Jan 25, 2013 : 7:16 p.m.

Plows went down Maple at 11:30 am