Detroit Snow Record Broken, Flood Warnings in EffectBy: Kathy Karadza - April 16, 2014
A spring snow storm Michigan broke seasonal snowfall records in Detroit and Flint on Tuesday, prompting flood warnings, and some areas to declare a state of emergency.
The National Weather Service reported that as of 6 a.m. on Tuesday, 3.1 inches fell at Detroit Metropolitan Airport in Romulus, making the seasonal total snowfall thus far 94.8 inches, breaking the previous Detroit snowfall record of 93.6 inches from the winter of 1880-1881.
As of 2 a.m. Tuesday, eight-tenths of an inch fell in Flint, bringing the seasonal total to 83.4 inches. This season’s total snowfall surpassed the previous Flint seasonal record of 82.9 inches from the winter of 1974-1975.
The snow came Tuesday, after unruly weather Monday, with flooded river banks, hundreds of thousands of people losing power, and temperatures reaching as high as mid-70s in parts of Michigan. Temperatures dropped dramatically to freezing temperatures in parts of the state by Tuesday morning.
Utility crews from Consumer Energy, the state’s largest utility company, are working to finish restoring power to about 35,000 homes and businesses that were left without service after high winds hit on Saturday.
According to the National Weather Service, warm weather in the state last week increased melting snow and the amount of water running off into rivers.
Forecasters asked residents to keep an eye out for rising water levels, especially in the Escanaba River area, in Delta County. Flood warnings are also in effect along rivers in part of the Lower Peninsula.
The Muskegon River in western Michigan was 3.3 feet over its banks at Evart in Osceola County on Tuesday morning, the National Weather Service said.
Water was 2.8 feet over flood stage near Croton Dam in Newaygo County’s Croton Township, about 35 miles north of Grand Rapids. The Newaygo County emergency services director instructed some residents to evacuate downstream on Monday. Levels are expected to remain high through next week, according to the National Weather Service.
Flooding also was reported along the Pere Marquette, Chippewa, Tittabawassee and White rivers.
Newaygo, Mecosta, Midland, Osceola and Wexford counties have declared local state of emergencies.
“Most people alive today have never experienced this,” said Brian Tilley, a National Weather Service meteorologist in suburban Detroit.
“It’s probably the best way to sum it up, without getting carried away with superlatives,” Tilley said.
Forecasters predict moderate to heavy snowfall over the western and north-central areas of the Upper Peninsula for Wednesday through Thursday morning that could bring between six to ten inches of snowfall.
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