By Kelsey Parkinson
Williamston Post staff writer
Just after Punxsutawney Phil announced another six weeks of winter, Michigan was hit with another round of tough winter weather.
Wunderground.com reported five inches in Lansing for Wednesday, Feb. 5, most of which accumulated before noon and created some hazardous conditions for drivers.
Grand River Avenue running through the heart of Williamston and other roads throughout the city were unplowed in the early afternoon, leaving roads slushy and slippery.
Trisha Rogers, employee at the Admiral gas station on W. Grand River Avenue, said that the slick roads caused trouble for some drivers, but there were some good Samaritans to help out.
“There was a case of somebody getting stuck in a ditch,” Rogers said. “Three military people pulled over to help get them out. And then another person came in and bought all of them coffee.”
Rogers said all didn’t share those good spirits.
“Everyone else has been grumpy,” she said.
Ingham County Commissioner Randy Schafer said, however, the road crews have done a superb job despite all of the wicked weather the state has been experiencing.
“They’re working 14-hour days,” Schafer said. “I don’t think anyone could ask for anything more.”
Schafer said that the recent switch from the road commission to the Board of Commissioners was “nothing but a positive move,” despite the low funding compared to other areas.
“I know funding is short. Our group has the most miles to clear with fewer plows compared to East Lansing, which is taxed higher, therefore more plows,” Schafer said.
Schafer also said the Michigan Department of Transportation is responsible for clearing roads such as Grand River Avenue and Interstate 96.
The Ingham County 911 system released an advisory at 11:13 a.m. warning drivers to “avoid the area of I96 (eastbound) near mile marker 122 (Stockbridge Rd) due to multiple accidents.” Schafer said that I96 has far more accidents compared to city or residential areas.
I96 “has far more accidents because of semis and other trucks, with the on and off ramps and going over the bridges,” he said. “These are very treacherous areas.”
Despite the bad weather and the lower funding, though, Schafer was pleased with the results.
“We had certainly the best results that were possible,” he said.