SOUTHFIELD, Mich. – Because Metro Detroit faces the prospect of not just snow but ice before the snow even hits, clearing the roads will be challenging, and driving is likely to be treacherous.
The most problematic issue facing local road commissions ahead of the winter weather moving in Thursday (Dec. 22) night into Friday morning is when the expected rain turns to snow. And whether temperatures will drop so quickly, it will flash freeze the roads into ice.
“The biggest challenge right now is going to figure out when the rain switches to freezing rain or snow,” said Craig Bryson from the Road Commission for Oakland County.
Snow removal is one thing, snow removal on top of a layer of ice is that much harder.
“It’s a lot tougher to clear the ice with our snow plows, so we try and get out here and pre-salt before the storm hits so that the ice really doesn’t have anything to set into,” said Bryan Santo, Superintendent of Macomb Roads.
We’re expecting very high winds in Metro Detroit, which means the salt may work, but the refreeze will be fast.
Plus, if the snow totals are on the high end, the snow will take days to dig out, not hours; This is expected to hit one of the busiest travel days of the year.