Flash freeze potential overnight, slick roads possible

Flash Freeze Possible Van Buren County.jpg
Water from melted snow pools near a road in Van Buren County.{ } (WWMT/Will Haenni)

Temperatures in the 40s Thur. Feb. 7 afternoon in Kalamazoo were a continuation of warmer than average conditions felt since Sat. Feb. 2, 2019, across West Michigan.

Closer to Grand Rapids, thousands of Consumers Energy customers were still without power Thursday afternoon following several rounds of wintry precipitation that began Wednesday.

A nearly 35 degree drop was expected to occur from dinnertime Thursday into Friday morning around the Kalamazoo area, with the thermometer bottoming out in the mid-teens. This fast drop in temperature could cause moisture and puddles on pavement to quickly freeze.

"When the temperature does that, we urge everyone to be extremely careful," Bob Drake, with the Van Buren County Road Commission, said. "It can drop 10 degrees in a couple hours, and any water on the road will turn to black ice.”

Snow melt also was causing some low-lying rural areas to flood. The road commission was working to close some roads where flood water was an issue.

“Right now with the snow melt, we’re having a lot of flooding a road closures. People’s driveways actually get plugged with chunks of ice from all the snow melt quickly. In unusual spots we’ll have the roads damaged where they’ll just wash out," said Drake.

To make matters worse, rain was expected to switch to snow starting late Thursday evening and continue off and on through Saturday morning.