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High winds contribute to slick roads on Monday
WEST MICHIGAN (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Emergency responders had their hands full today with weather-related accidents, according to the Ottawa County Sheriff's Office.
"Those conditions can change really rapidly like we saw today, and the roads go from wet to ice in a matter of minutes," said Sgt. Brent Converse.
Gusts of wind near 50 miles per hour led to snow covered roads and poor visibility in parts of Allegan and Ottawa counties.
"It's starting to get a little slick, so I have to be real careful," said Carolyn Kieft, who stopped at a rest stop on her way to visit her daughter in Grand Rapids. "She called and let me know to be careful on my way. I'm concerned about trucks because it's very hard to see when you're driving behind or alongside a truck."
On I-196 near exit 55, a semi-truck was blocking both west bound lanes earlier this afternoon.
"Right around lunch time the weather changed dramatically where it went from wet roads to the temperature dropped and the roads went from wet to icy and slippery, so we saw a huge increase in crashes," said Sgt. Converse.
He says since then, the road commission has made headway on the main roads.
"Some of the secondary roads they didn't have the chance to get cleaned off completely the first time are some of our biggest problems because they have that base layer of ice," he said.
Sgt. Converse reminds drivers to slow down and leave plenty of room between their car and the one ahead of them. He also says, if you slide off the road into a ditch, clear your muffler of snow and ice so the fumes leave the car, but stay inside the car so you're warm and out of harm's way.