The National Weather Service has issued a WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY for Ottawa, Kent, Ionia, Muskegon, Newaygo, Mecosta, and Montcalm effective from 7 pm Saturday until 6 am Monday. A strong storm will be crossing the Ohio Valley Sunday, bringing snow to West Michigan, with some areas perhaps seeing as much as 10-12" of accumulation. Snowfall will be heaviest south as opposed to north, so near/south of I-94 is where the highest accumulations are expected... 8-12" possible. However, Eaton, Ottawa, and Kent could see anywhere from 4-7". Additionally, gusty winds will be blowing the snow quite a bit, causing drifting on roads along with poor visibility. Travel is discouraged from late Saturday night through Sunday night.

The National Weather Service has issued a WINTER STORM WARNING for the following counties in West Michigan, effective from 7 pm Saturday until 4 am Monday: Allegan, Barry, Berrien, calhoun, Cass, Kalamazoo, Van Buren,  St.Joseph, Branch, and Hillsdale. A strong winter storm moving into/across the Ohio Valley will bring periods of heavy snow to the Warning area, beginning late tonight and extending through at least Sunday evening. Forecast models indicate between 8 and 12" of accumulation are possible. Additionally, strong winds will cause blowing and drifting snow. Driving conditions will be hazardous Sunday. Travel is not encouraged.

Stay with Newschannel 3 and for the latest updates.

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Number of flu cases continue to rise

Updated: Friday, January 17, 2014 |
Number of flu cases continue to rise story image
WEST MICHIGAN (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - The number of flu cases in West Michigan continues to rise.

The Michigan Department of Community Health says the southeast region of the state has seen the highest number of hospitalizations because of the virus.

It's striking people really hard between the ages of 20 and 50.

Two people have died from flu-related symptoms in Kalamazoo County. Three people in Kent County have died from flu-related illnesses and the county has seen more than 400 confirmed cases. Van Buren County also has one flu death.
At least three young, healthy people in their 20's have died statewide.

In Kalamazoo, Mark Sanford is one of six people in West Michigan to die from a flu-related illness. We spoke with his daughter who tells us the 60-year-old died Tuesday from the flu and other factors.

She says the virus took over his body very quickly and the family had to take extreme precautions because she has a three-month old child who can't be vaccinated yet.

"They just said it had made his lungs so bad to the point where he couldn't lay on his back and there was pretty much no way to recover from it," said Brandie Rolland.

You can keep track of local outbreaks through your smartphone. Web MD has an app that tracks outbreaks in your zip code. The free app also includes your local resources and tips to avoid getting sick.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention also tracks flu outbreaks on their site, along with resources about flu symptoms and treatment.

Google is helping you out during this flu season by tracking patterns that correlate with real outbreaks.

But tracking it is not enough. Doctors say you need to be vaccinated. They say it is not too late because the flu is still hasn't yet peaked.

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