Wind and snow cause intermittent whiteouts

A rolled over car on 142nd Street. The driver was not hurt. (Courtesy Tawnya Kokx via ReportIt -- Jan. 24, 2014)
A rolled over car on 142nd Street. The driver was not hurt. (Courtesy Tawnya Kokx via ReportIt -- Jan. 24, 2014)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Intermittent whiteouts were seen Friday as strong winds swept through West Michigan.

There is a Winter Storm Warning for Allegan, Barry, Kalamazoo, Kent, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oceana, Ottawa and Van Buren counties and a Winter Weather Advisory for Mecosta, Montcalm, Ionia and Calhoun counties in effect until 7 a.m. Saturday.

Many schools, businesses and churches reported closures due to the weather: A full list of closings on WOODTV.com

Winds increased and sow developed all day Friday. Bitterly cold air is in place with temperatures in the teens and wind chills running to -30.  Snow showers became widespread Friday afternoon and evening, creating very slippery travel conditions and near whiteout conditions.

Snow showers will continue Friday night, with temperatures in the low 20s and wind chills near or below zero.  Overnight travel will remain a huge concern, as blowing and drifting snow will continue to create hazardous conditions.

Visibility was very limited all along the lakeshore. Some roads were impassable due to blowing, drifting snow.

In Muskegon County around noon Friday, snow plows were pulled off the roads in White River and Montague townships due to near-whiteout conditions, Lori Peterson of the road commission said. Drivers were having problems seeing the roads because of the blowing snow.

Holland police said rural roads were drifting over too fast for road crews to keep up.

And there were several crashes in Allegan County Friday afternoon, including some shut down a stretch of M-40 for a time and a jackknifed semi-truck on I-196.

Stay with Storm Team 8 for the latest conditions.

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The Rose Parks Circle Ice skating rink in Grand Rapids closed at 5 p.m. Friday due to severe weather. It will reopen as scheduled at noon Saturday.

In Portage, the ice rink at Millenium Park will be closed Saturday, according to the city’s Parks and Recreation Department. It will reopen at noon Sunday, barring more severe weather. The city also said the cross-country ski lessons planned for Saturday, Jan. 25 have been postponed to Feb. 22.

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