Traverse City Record-Eagle

Region

December 14, 2010

Baby born in car during storm

TRAVERSE CITY — Bradley Porter will have quite a story to tell his friends about the first major snowstorm of the winter.

First, though, he'll have to learn how to talk.

Jessica Porter went into labor with newborn son Bradley early Sunday morning, just as the weekend blizzard was picking up steam. Her husband, Greg, packed up their belongings, and the couple started the treacherous trek from their home in East Jordan to Munson Medical Center in Traverse City. But Mother Nature had other plans as the blizzard conditions halted the Porters' trip to the emergency room.

The Porters pulled to the side of the road in Elk Rapids because of slick road conditions and called authorities. Village police arrived, and Officer Michael Courson helped deliver Bradley in the Porter's vehicle. The baby and mother finished their long, snowy trip to Munson in the back of a North Flight ambulance.

"That was our only option," Greg Porter said. "The little one decided that he couldn't wait any longer. He's got a heck of a story to tell."

The Porters spent Sunday night at Munson and were discharged Monday — Greg Porter's birthday.

"This is the best birthday present," he said of his 8-pound baby boy with a full head of hair. "It's a good story for the whole family."

The Porters' trip took them into the teeth of the fierce winter storm, which hit Grand Traverse and Wexford counties the hardest, the National Weather Service reported.

Ellsworth in Antrim County reported 7 inches, while Cadillac had the highest snow accumulation from the storm at 19 inches by Monday afternoon, said Tim Locher, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gaylord. Accumulations varied in Grand Traverse County, from a high of 17 inches in Interlochen to 9 inches of snow recorded at Munson Medical Center.

Dozens of area schools cancelled classes and events Monday as the region dug out from the storm, which included wind gusts exceeding 40 mph that whipped up deep snow drifts across the region. High temperatures plunged into the teens.

It made for a long weekend for local road crews. They began working Saturday night in Grand Traverse County, and the agency had full crews tending to the roads on both Sunday and Monday, road commission Manager Mary Gillis said. She said most subdivision roads were plowed yesterday, but they may not finish them all until today.

"We've gotten through all the main roads at least once, and opened up some of the roads in the southern end of the county where it drifted over," Gillis said Monday afternoon. "It's still blowing, so it will still be a problem, especially in the southern end of the county and the Acme area where you have open fields."

Saturday's warmer daytime weather left the roads wet, which then froze as the storm moved in and temperatures dropped early Sunday morning, Gillis said. That left a lot of hard ice pack on the main roads.

The falling temperatures also were a problem. Monday's high was around 15 degrees, and below 15 degrees road salt begins losing its working ability.

"So it's going to be more difficult to get the ice pack off," Gillis said.

Temperatures will begin to moderate today with highs in the low 20s with about an inch of new snow. Winds will continue from the north at 15 to 20 mph, with gusts of up to 25 mph, Locher said. Winds will drop Tuesday night to 10 to 15 mph and come out of the northwest. Winds will drop to down to 5 to 10 mph Wednesday, with a high temperature of 27 degrees. Light snow showers likely will continue throughout the week and into the weekend, Locher said.

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