Monday, December 1, 2008

Metro Detroiters awake to snow, slick roads, school closings

Slick and sloppy driving is the order of the day for Monday morning commuters thanks to a sputtering winter storm that is predicted to drop up to two inches of snow in the Metro Detroit area.

The foot print of the storm extended from the northwest to the southeast with northern areas -- especially northern Oakland County -- receiving three to four inches while east-side communities mostly received a mixture of rain and sleet.

The Road Commission for Oakland County scrambled its entire fleet at about 3 a.m., according to RCOC spokesman Craig Bryson.

"We put almost 120 trucks on the road to do salting and some plowing," Bryson said.

"The northern part of the county did get hit, but here in Beverly Hills -- where the road commission is headquartered -- we received a decent dusting. We've mostly been salting, but we did do some blading in the northern part of the county where we received about four inches."

Bryson said the commission's fleet of trucks was mostly concentrating on the freeways.

"We haven't started yet on subdivisions and secondary roads," Bryson said.

"People in the subdivisions may find their roads a bit sloppy, but things should be fine once they get out onto the main roads."

By 7 a.m., Flint was reporting up to five inches of snow while three inches fell in Lapeer, 4 ½ inches in White Lake and 3 ½ in Howell. National Weather Service meteorologist Brian Tilley said less than six inches of snow fell in some areas north of Detroit.

Communities to the south saw far less, but one to two more inches are expected throughout Monday. The Saginaw area already had up to six inches and also could get another inch or two, while Crystal in Gratiot County had seven inches of snowfall overnight.

About eight inches fell in Leland in the northwestern Lower Peninsula and 12 inches in Traverse City.

There were very few problems at Metropolitan Airport, according to airport spokesman Mike Conway.

"We're looking pretty good this morning," Conway said.

"It looks like everything is getting off on time, including early morning flights. We had no problems yesterday. No deicing was necessary because of higher temperatures; we lucked out."

Depending on their commute, early morning motorists face a menu of weather conditions that vary from a steady snow fall to sleet to slush to virtually no snow at all. The Michigan State Police are reporting the normal number of crashes, fender benders and spin outs.

In Ann Arbor, downed power lines closed Main Street between Huron view Boulevard and Lakeshore Drive.

According to Detroit News reporting partner WXYZ-TV (Channel 7), the following schools are closed:

Wayne County

• Garden City High School

Oakland County

• Belle Ann Elementary

Genesee County

• Genesee ISD

• Goodrich public schools

• Grand Blanc

• St. Thomas Moore

Lapeer County

• North Branch public schools


2008 Hurricane Season Ends By Breaking Records

"It would be an under-statement to say Hurricane Ike was a terrible storm - it was absolutely devastating to Southeast Texas.

Many would agree it will be the most memorable storm of the 2008 Hurricane Season which officially ended Sunday, November 30.

The 2008 hurricane season was one of the most active on record and hear are some of the facts and broken records of the season:

-16 named storms
- 8 hurricanes
- 5 of the 8 hurricanes were "major" hurricanes, that's at least category 3 strength.
-Most U.S. landfalls in one season.
-Marco was the smallest hurricane in geographic size in history.
-Ike was the costliest storm in Texas state history.
-Second deadliest since 1972 (second only to 2005).

For more information click on the "watch this video" link on the upper left.

The 2009 Hurricane Season begins on Monday, June 1 and the first named storm will be Ana."


World AIDS Day

"According to UNAIDS estimates, there are now 33.2 million people living with HIV, including 2.5 million children. During 2007 some 2.5 million people became newly infected with the virus. Around half of all people who become infected with HIV do so before they are 25 and are killed by AIDS before they are 35.

Around 95% of people with HIV/AIDS live in developing nations. But HIV today is a threat to men, women and children on all continents around the world.

Started on 1st December 1988, World AIDS Day is about raising money, increasing awareness, fighting prejudice and improving education. World AIDS Day is important in reminding people that HIV has not gone away, and that there are many things still to be done."