Cleaning up from the storm

Water flows over M-20, east of Big Rapids, on Friday morning. Mecosta County Road Crews were out working on ditches and trying to clear areas so ponding water from Thursday’s storms had someplace to drain. (Pioneer photo/Brandon Fountain)

MECOSTA COUNTY — Mother Nature lashed out a late-winter storm on Thursday and many around the area were still cleaning up Friday.

With flowing water over some portions of area roads, and the conditions of gravel roads raising concerns, area schools closed their doors on Friday.

In its canceling announcement on Facebook, Big Rapids Public Schools cited minor flooding in the middle school caused by the city’s sanitary system being overwhelmed by stormwater as another reason why it closed on Friday.

Mecosta County Road Commission crews were out Friday morning trying clear snow, ice and other debris from ditches so there was room for additional water to flow, as frost hasn’t completely left the ground leaving areas of ponding in several locations.

Mecosta County Sheriff Todd Purcell said Thursday’s storms presented challenges for drivers, deputies and others.

“A lot of the roads were washed out, especially the gravel roads later in the afternoon were terrible,” he said. “Our guys did what they could, as soon as they possibly could to get where they needed to be.”

Purcell said road conditions in several areas are not the best.

“With water running all over the place, the rapid thaw made it a lot worse,” he said.

With the warm temperatures, it made some parts of the day extremely foggy, Purcell said.

“At times, it was dangerous for everyone out on the roads,” he said. “If one of our guys stopped to help someone out, with the spotty fog, it made it dangerous if someone would not be able to see them in time.

“We made it through the day.”

Temperatures in the low 30s are forecast for Saturday, with flurries expected in the morning, according to AccuWeather. On Sunday, the sun is supposed to peek out a bit more often, as temperatures are expected to be near 40.

Temperatures in the mid- to high-40s and sunshine are expected throughout next week.

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Posted by Brandon Fountain

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