Wintery blast hits West Michigan

Updated: Tuesday, February 19 2013, 09:05 PM EST
Wintery blast hits West Michigan story image
ALLEGAN COUNTY, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Gusty winds carried light, fluffy snow onto West Michigan roads today, covering the pavement throughout Allegan County.

"We have a lot of spots that are open field like you noticed, so the wind's constantly blowing across there," Craig Atwood, county highway engineer, told us.

We rode along with an allegan county road crew using a plow to clear the drift, but the snow blew right back at the windshield, making for white-out conditions.

"Like a blizzard out here today," said truck driver Victor Phares.

Phares says he was going 55 miles per hour when his semi slid off into a ditch. It happened on US-131 South at the Bradley exit.

"It was slippery right there cause the snow plowed across the road.
Once I hit that wet spot, wind caught me and away I went," said Phares.

In 45 years, this has happened to Phares twice. He says feeling you're about to crash is scary.

"Just hang on. That's the only thing you can do," he said. "I keep my seat belt on but still you never know. I could have wound up out in the median in that wire instead of coming out on this side."

Road crews have been battling the snow with plows and a salt-sand mix but even with 37 trucks out, it's hard keeping up with mother nature.

"That's done pretty well on our paved roads, but as the snow continues to fall, it's switching over to a plowing thing, but more snow falls, you're putting more material down to keep things melted off," said Atwood.
Wintery blast hits West Michigan
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