Mackinac Bridge reopens after whiteout conditions

LEFT: In this July 19, 2002 file photo, the Mackinac Bridge is shown from Mackinaw City, Mich. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio) RIGHT: In this Feb. 24, 2015 Mackinac Bridge camera video screenshot shows whiteout condition which forced the bridge to be shut down.

MACKINAW CITY, Mich. (AP/WOOD) — Snow and wind made travel difficult in parts of Michigan Tuesday, forcing officials to shut down the Mackinac Bridge for several hours.

State police say the shutdown Tuesday morning came as winds gusting up to 50 mph were blowing snow off the frozen Straits of Mackinac, making visibility poor.

The Michigan Department of Transportation said the closure was due to a crash involving multiple vehicles.

It happened around 9:30 a.m., according to Michigan State Police. A husband and wife from Sault St. Marie were traveling south, about to get onto the bridge, when the wife decided she couldn’t drive over the bridge. As her husband walked around the car to get into the driver’s seat, he was hit from behind by another car. That started a chain-reaction crash, and a total of eight vehicles were involved.

State police say the husband is in stable condition at a local hospital. There were no other serious injuries.

While responding, an MSP trooper’s patrol car slammed into a semi-truck, destroying the cruiser. The trooper is fine.

While the bridge was closed, officers re-routed traffic and hundreds of vehicles were kept waiting on both sides of the bridge. The accident was cleared around 11:30 a.m., and the bridge reopened around 2:20 p.m.

The five-mile Mackinac Bridge connects Michigan’s Upper and Lower peninsulas.

Two to five inches of snow is possible in parts of the Upper Peninsula.

Storm Team 8 expects snowfall will be an inch or less in most areas southeast of Kent County, but could be as much as two to three inches of snow north of Muskegon, where there will be a little boost from Lake Michigan, which still has a fair amount of open water.



Storm Team 8 Forecast

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