Updated: Winter storm closes schools, knocks out power for thousands in Ann Arbor area
John Counts | AnnArbor.com
Editor's note: This article has been updated with new snowfall totals.
A winter storm dumped at least 5 inches of snow on Ann Arbor overnight and downed power lines, closing schools, contributing to multiple crashes on area roads and freeways and knocking out power to thousands in Washtenaw County.
Accidents were reported and trees were down all across Washtenaw County, a dispatcher with the Sheriff’s Office said at 5:30 a.m. Wednesday. DTE Energy said 14,000 customers were without power in Washtenaw County.
Hassan Hodges | AnnArbor.com
Reports indicated the Ann Arbor area had received 7 inches or more of snow, said Matt Mosteiko, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in White Lake Township. On the University of Michigan's North Campus, a weather observer recorded 7.4 inches, he said. A mile south of Ann Arbor, reports indicated 7 inches had fallen. Totals in other areas varied, with Saline reporting 6.8 inches and Dexter, 3.6.
Motorists were urged to allow extra time for travel if they have to drive this morning. Washtenaw County central dispatch said no roads or freeways were closed or blocked, but they were dealing with too many accidents to count.
The storm brought heavy wet snow and freezing rain that brought down tree limbs and power lines across Washtenaw County. DTE Energy had 30,000 customers without power in southeast Michigan. Washtenaw County was hardest hit, said spokesman Alejandro Bodipo-Memba. About 6,000 were without power in Oakland County.
An estimated restoration time was not immediately available, but the utility hoped to have most power back on sometime Wednesday, Bodipo-Memba said. Outages were widespread throughout the area. Check the DTE outage map for more information.
Ypsilanti Township closed its offices for the day because of weather and power outages. The 14-B District Court also closed. Pittsfield Township offices and most Ann Arbor District Library offices were scheduled to open at noon. The library's Malletts Creek branch was closed for the day because of a power outage, Library Director Josie Parker said in a message posted on the district's website.
Some businesses were affected as well. The recently opened Wafel Shop on East Liberty Street in Ann Arbor announced it would tentatively open at 10 a.m. Wednesday.
Snowfall totals varied across southeast Michigan. The airport in Metro Detroit was reporting 2.5 inches, Mosteiko said. Novi and Southfield had 4 inches. Taylor had 2.
Little additional accumulation is expected throughout the day Wednesday, but another inch of snow is likely overnight, Mosteiko said.