Traverse City Record-Eagle

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January 17, 2013

Winter has returned

Slippery roads result in traffic mishaps

TRAVERSE CITY — A return to winter weather resulted in traffic mishaps that sent at least two people to the hospital with minor injuries and caused others to slide into ditches.

In Leelanau County on Wednesday a semi-truck collided with another vehicle on Bellinger Road east of Maple City Road, said Leelanau County Sheriff Mike Borkovich. Both drivers were taken to Munson Medical Center with minor injuries.

"That definitely had to do with the roads," Borkovich said. "When I was driving, the roads were very, very slippery. Most of that slush we had froze and it started snowing pretty hard about 11 a.m. and covered it. They said we were going to get two inches of snow and, by God, we got two inches of snow. My car was black one minute and white 15 minutes later."

In Grand Traverse County, slippery roads may have caused a few fender-benders, but nothing out of the ordinary, said Grand Traverse County Sheriff Thomas Bensley.

"I don't know that there are a lot of problems out there," he said. "It's a return to winter. Maybe people forgot how to drive from ... when we last got snow."

Gusty winds, lake effect snow and cold temperatures are expected all week and into the next, said Tim Locker, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gaylord. Winds are expected to gust up to 28 or 30 mph late Saturday into Sunday, dropping wind chill temperatures to below zero Sunday morning. Next week's temperatures will be even colder, with highs in the low teens and lows in the single digits early mornings Monday through Thursday.

"Arctic air is finally coming into the Great Lakes so it's going to be more normal winter," Locker said. "It's going to be cold and windy. We have the potential to see several inches of accumulation. When you have the really cold temperatures over the water, it makes for perfect lake effect snow."

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