Black ice creates hectic Wednesday morning commute; gives way to dreary afternoon fog

Afternoon fog along I-94 in Calhoun County.

Black ice caused a number of accidents and slide-offs across West Michigan during the Wednesday morning commute and police are cautioning drivers to be careful.

Although the temperatures warmed up, challenges remained for drivers after layers of fog settled into the area and reduced visibility to less than a quarter of a mile in some spots.

Nate Burns, of Pennfield Township, said, “Kind of a dreary mix of rain and clouds today.”

Those dreary conditions consisted mostly of persisting fog, kept visibility low for many drivers throughout the day.

Emmett Township Public Safety Lt. Tony Geigle said, “visibility is not very good.”

Freeze ups on Wednesday morning caught many drivers by surprise.

“It was definitely a wild morning,” said Terri Leggitt, of Albion.

Even Dave Davis, manager of Bud’s Towing in Marshall, was taken off guard.

“Didn't expect as much black ice on some of the major roads,” Davis said.

Geigle said, “Seemed like it was relatively warm, but with the fog and mist and everything, it started creating a lot of black ice. A lot of slippery spots.”

He said Emmett Township Public Safety officers handled a dozen or so accidents in just a couple hours.

“A lot of people have a false sense of security and the warm temperatures, so they don't slow down," Geigle said. "Even though it's getting warm out people still need to be careful and use caution.”

Local officials aren't expecting issues headed into Wednesday night, in terms of ice on the roadways, but with snow expected Friday, people won't remain content for very long.