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More low temps and high winds lead to road problems in Allegan Co.
ALLEGAN COUNTY, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Another day of cold temperatures and high winds are keeping police from going from call to call as drivers struggle to keep their cars on the road.
Much of US-131 runs through open fields in Allegan County, and with all the snow of late, it's left big snowbanks lining the roadway.
That fact, coupled with the high winds, is causing snow to blow back into the travel lane and leaving drivers in white-out conditions.
As the sun warmed things up a bit Wednesday, the wind made travel treacherous along US-131.
"We've just been taking several accidents and slide offs," reported Captain Scott Matice, with the Allegan County Sheriff's Department.
The accidents and slide-offs snarled traffic as drivers tried to work their way around them.
"Because of the white-outs, you cant even see our emergency lights either, so all we ask is people slow down and move over," Captain Matice said.
Police eventually shut down a stretch of US-131 between 100th and 142nd Streets for hours as crews worked to clear the area.
But about a mile away, there was yet another truck off the road.
"With the open fields, the wind starts blowing which just takes that light snow and just makes it a complete white-out," Matice said.
Which is why Captain Matice says drivers need to take it slow.
"People's speeds are way too fast--we have people going 50, 60, 70 miles and hour on the highway and my top speed has been 40 at the top speed," he said.
Matice says that with the blowing snow, drivers need to anticipate the changing conditions.
"If you see pavement in this weather, its actually ice--so if you start losing control of your vehicle, you're going to crash," he said.
But Matice says there is one simple way to avoid that:
"I would highly suggest, unless you have to go somewhere that's an emergency, stay home," he said.
If you do have to be out on the roads, you should watch your speed and expect that the roads are icy.
Police say in a setting like US-131, slamming on your brakes can easily lead to a chain reaction crash, so you'll want to take it slow and be very careful.