‘Do not drive’: Kent County officials warn motorists not to travel on Christmas Eve –

Pre-Christmas blizzard hits Grand Rapids
UPDATE: Pre-Christmas Blizzard Saturday: Snowfall expected, wind gusts, wind chill
KENT COUNTY, MI — Ongoing snowfall and intense wind have combined to make Christmas Eve a hazardous time to drive in the Grand Rapids area, officials said.
“Our message is, once again, do not drive unless you have to drive,” Kent County Road Commission officials advised in a news release on the morning of Saturday, Dec. 24.
Daytime road crews started as planned at 6 a.m., taking over for night crews. Crews are working with front plows and graders in white out, blizzard-like conditions to attempt to get roads reopened today, officials said.
Low visibility continues with zero visibility in several rural areas in Kent County. Some areas have reported impassable conditions due to more than a foot of drifted snow on the road, officials said.
The road commission’s goal Saturday is to create “passable conditions” on these types of rural roads, particularly those running north and south, to open them to emergency services, officials said. Ongoing coverage will be placed on state roads and high-volume primary roads that were addressed overnight, but still suffer from hard-pack, icy conditions, officials said.
With roads across the county still icy with hard pack, strong wind gusts ongoing and visibility limited, drivers must use extreme caution when traveling, officials said.
Based on forecast, officials estimate the county will be able to apply full applications of de-icing chemicals on Sunday going into Monday. With the current wind chill below zero, the blowing wind would spread the salt and cause it to dilute and refreeze, creating a thicker layer of ice, officials said.
More weather coverage on MLive:
Gov. Whitmer activates emergency operations center in response to blizzard
Dangerous sub-zero wind chills to continue, how to spot signs of frostbite
Video shows multi-vehicle pileup that closed U.S. 131
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