Winter won’t loosen icy grip on region

Winter’s icy grip has taken hold of the Midwest and is not predicted to let go anytime soon. Record low temperatures, snow, and gusty winds have sent residents inside, caused local schools to cancel more than a week’s worth of classes and even contributed to propane gas shortages. As another round of winter storms wreaked havoc on the area Monday, local authorities were urging residents to use caution or stay off roads if possible.

Lenawee County Sheriff Jack Welsh and Emergency Management Coordinator Curtis Parsons issued a level B- Snow condition yellow effective as of 4 p.m. Monday.

“A snow condition yellow means that road conditions are extremely hazardous with heavy snow, severe drifting, and or widespread ice. Generally only one lane is open for traffic which is moving at a slow speed with occasional stalled vehicles. Motorists are urged to curtail driving unless an emergency,” a joint press release said. Road conditions in the southern portion of the county as well as open areas were poor and high snow drifts were reported Monday afternoon by the Lenawee County Road Commission.

The Monroe County Road Commission also warned the public of road conditions and upgraded an advisory to a Level 2 watch. According to Monroe County Road Commission Chairman Bob Stammer only those who feel it i necessary to drive should be on the roads.

The lower temperatures mixed with the higher winds have had many people worried about staying warm.

Lynn Lietzke, owner of Bill’s Service said Friday he has made several generator repairs as people prepare for the deep freeze. New generator purchases were also on people’s minds as well.

Another concern for many rural residents is the shortage of propane gas. A press release from Senator Bruce Caswell’s office called the propane gas shortage unprecedented. He was working with the Michigan Attorney General’s office to ensure Michigan propane companies did not engage in price gouging.

The harsh conditions also resulted in a 90-day extension to Dunnigan Brothers Inc., Jackson to finish the sewer project along Memorial Hwy. in Ottawa Lake.

For more weather news, please see the Jan. 29, 2014, edition of The Advance.