Storm drops wet, heavy snow on Detroit area, thousands powerless

Storm drops wet, heavy snow on Detroit area, thousands without power

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SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WJBK) -

A massive, slow-moving storm that hit the nation's midsection dropped several inches of wet, sloppy snow across southeast Michigan, creating slippery driving conditions and forcing hundreds of schools to close.

Utilities in Michigan say roughly 54,000 homes and businesses are without electrical service. Detroit-based DTE Energy Co. says about 40,000 of its customers are without power Wednesday morning after the storm knocked down power lines and tree branches.

DTE says Washtenaw County was the hardest hit, with about 26,000 outages reported. About 6,000 DTE customers lost power in Oakland County.

Over 650 schools closed their doors Wednesday, leaving thousands of students to enjoy a snow days. Sydney Fournier of Madison Heights says she found out about her day off while using her iPad. Click the video player to hear more from Fournier.

Weather Authority Ben Bailey says we can expect periods of dry weather throughout the day mixed with scattered show showers. High temperatures should reach 36 degrees.

Sheriff Bob Bezotte says the slushy roads caused 18 traffic accidents in Livingston County during the overnight hours. He says no serious injuries were reported.

The National Weather Service says 6 inches of snow fell in the Grand Haven and Muskegon areas, while 5 inches fell between Lansing and Jackson. Four to 5 inches fell in Grand Rapids. Four inches fell in Saginaw.

The storm was so big -- making travel perilous Tuesday from the Oklahoma Panhandle to the Great Lakes -- that snowfall was expected to linger in Chicago and other parts of the Midwest on Wednesday, with additional accumulations of up to 1 1/2 inches, said Matt Friedlein, a meteorologist in the National Weather Service's northern Illinois office. Chicago received 2-4 inches of snow Tuesday, but some northern suburbs got up to 7 1/2 inches, Friedlein said.

Other parts of the Midwest got far more, with more than 15 inches in parts of Oklahoma, up to a foot in Kansas and up to 13 1/2 inches in Missouri. In Iowa, where the storm could drop more than a foot before it was over, officials warned that travel would be hazardous Tuesday night as temperatures fell and ice formed on snowy roads.

- The Associated Press contributed to this report

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