TRAVERSE CITY — If icy rain, slush pools and grim skies in mid-April have you muttering, “Why do I live here?” you won’t get much encouragement from the forecast.
More snow is expected today and, while temperatures will rise to the near 50s on Monday, more cold weather is right behind it, said National Weather Service Meteorologist Andy Sullivan in Gaylord.
“We even have a chance of another snowstorm in the middle to the end of next week," Sullivan said. "So get out there while you can."
Snow caused havoc for motorists Thursday night and Friday. A car crashed into a utility pole Friday morning on U.S. 31 North, damaging at least two utility poles. One witness saw a sparking power line whipping around the pavement at about 8:45 a.m. The accident forced closure of the road between Three Mile and Four Mile roads until late afternoon.
The accident caused a power outage at a nearby condominium, said Traverse City Light and Power officials, which owned one of the damaged poles.
Leelanau County saw the heaviest power outages on Friday due to wind and ice. About 60 Northport homes and 25 Suttons Bay homes went dark with power expected to return by today, said Consumers Energy spokesman Roger Morgenstern.
Another 10 homes lost power in Kingsley, he said.
Schools were closed Friday region-wide. The Benzie County Water Festival was rescheduled to April 26 “due to Mother Nature’s late April Fool’s Day joke,” organizers said.
An estimated 125 air travelers on three flights were unable to land at Cherry Capital Airport Thursday evening, said Kevin Klein, Cherry Capital Airport's executive director.
"Runway conditions were in good shape, but it was the visibility," he said. "Freezing rain, the snow falling, and the east winds."
United and American airlines made up their flights Friday morning, but not Delta Air Lines, he said.
Christie Minervini, a Traverse City gallery owner, was trying to get home from Florida Thursday night. The small Delta plane she was on delivered an extremely bumpy ride and made what she described as an unusually slow descent to land on the Traverse City runway as freezing rain streamed off the wing, Minervini said.
Suddenly, it pulled up and the captain announced some five minutes later it was too dangerous to land. He flew the plane to Saginaw and then onto Detroit, where a promised free hotel room fell through. Minervini paid about $200 on a room and rental car and drove home in sandals.
She said she took the aborted landing in stride, but is angry about the broken promises.
“If they had not out and out lied, guaranteeing me the hotel room in Detroit, I would have got off in Saginaw," she said.
Peter Starkel, a WNMC deejay, said his American Airlines plane made it all the way to Traverse City but then flew to Empire where it circled for awhile before flying to Grand Rapids.
“I was scared,” he said. “The freezing rain is not a great thing for planes, but the pilot seemed confident.”
Despite weeks of this "winter medley," Starkel said it's all fine by him.
“I used to live in Colorado at 10,000 feet and we had snow until mid-June," he said. "Sometimes it snowed on the Fourth of July."