‘Stormageddon’ hits area, region

More than 1 foot of snow, drifting shutters schools, businesses

NEGAUNEE — Marquette County residents are digging their way out of the heavy snow that fell on the area Sunday.

The National Weather Service in Negaunee Township reported a record snowfall for Sunday of 15.8 inches, breaking the record of 10.9 inches set in 1993.

A record amount of precipitation of 2.04 inches for Sunday also was recorded, which broke the record of 1 inch set in 1993.

Even though it’s technically spring, for most residents, the storm definitely had winter-like effects.

“For this winter, this was by far the most impactful storm the U.P. saw,” said Keith White, a meteorologist based at NWS in Negaunee Township.

White said the NWS as of this morning hadn’t yet received all weather reports from throughout the U.P. but the eastern U.P. had 6 inches of snow for most locations.

The biggest area snowfall, however, was recorded as of 6 a.m. today: 18.5 inches northwest of Ishpeming, he said. In fact, the Ishpeming-Negaunee area received an average of 15 to 18 inches during the storm.

White said more snow is expected today and tonight for the higher terrain in western Marquette County as well as Luce, Alger and Schoolcraft counties. Snowfall in the 2- to 4-inch range is expected, with isolated areas possibly receiving 6 inches within the next 24 hours.

The NWS also issued a winter weather advisory until 6 a.m. Tuesday for Marquette, Alger and Baraga counties.

Motorists are advised to plan on difficult travel conditions, with the NWS noting that roads that have yet to be plowed from Sunday’s snow might not be passable. Winds gusting as high as 30 mph will cause patchy blowing and drifting snow.

A winter weather advisory means that periods of snow will cause travel difficulties. The NWS said to expect slippery roads and limited visibilities, and use caution while driving.

Marquette County Central Dispatch reported that most of the major county roads have been cleared, with U.S. 41 plowed this morning. Also, the county road commission continues to clear other roads.

Because of the storm, the Marquette County Courthouse and jail complex curtailed operations for today. Only employees listed on the work force reduction roster were to report to work.

All circuit, district and probate court hearings were canceled and will be rescheduled to a later time and date.

Area school districts also were closed today as was Northern Michigan University. An announcement regarding NMU evening classes was to have been made by 2 p.m.

Lakeshore Boulevard between West Fair Avenue and Hawley Street in the city of Marquette was closed until further notice. The roads in the area were iced over in sections because of the excessive spray from the waves along the shoreline.

The Marquette Police Department asked motorists to avoid traveling along this portion of the road until it has reopened.

Inclement weather affected other areas of Michigan as well.

According to The Associated Press, crews are working to restore power to hundreds of thousands of Michigan customers who lost electrical service due to freezing rain and high winds.

Utilities say more than a quarter-million people didn’t have service as of early today.

DTE Energy says about 250,000 of its customers were without power, but it expects 90 percent of its 370,000 affected customers to have service by the end of Tuesday. Consumers Energy restored power to most of its more than 118,000 affected customers.

In the Detroit suburb of Warren, a fallen power line sparked a fire that destroyed 10 vehicles at a used car dealership.

Heavy rains caused scattered flooding while easterly winds were blamed for weekend flooding along Saginaw Bay off Lake Huron and in Monroe County off Lake Erie, the AP reported. Other areas received heavy snow.

Christie Bleck can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250.