It is expected to be the first big blizzard of 2011.
The National Weather Service has issued a blizzard warning for the Detroit Metro area, including Wayne and Oakland counties. The NWS is predicting that there will be between seven and 12 inches of total snow accumulation. The warning goes into effect at 10 p.m. and ends on Wednesday morning.
"A dangerous winter storm will track across the Ohio Valley tonight and Wednesday, spreading heavy snow and blizzard conditions into Southeast Michigan," according to the NWS Web site.
Heavy snow coupled with high winds, some gusts getting as high as 39 mph, will create whiteout conditions and drifting snow will make roads hard to clear, according to the NWS.
City offices, schools to close Wednesday
The City of Northville offices will be closed Wednesday but several departments, including Public Works (DPW) will be open.
"The DPW and police will still be here keeping the streets safe and clear as possible," said Michelle Nabozny, executive secretary to Northville City Manager Patrick Sullivan.
She said the city does not have a snow emergency policy regarding parking because of ordinance restrictions already in place that prohibit overnight parking. Still, she said, it would help the plows to have as few cars parked on the streets as possible for plows to clear snow once it begins.
Nabozny said the city's plows are scheduled and ready to go this evening but the blowing snow may be a challenge to keep roads clear.
Northville Public Schools have also canceled classes Wednesday. At this time, classes for Thursday are not canceled. That decision is likely to be made tomorrow, assistant superintendent of instruction Mary Kay Gallagher said.
The Northville District Library will be closed on Wednesday as well. According to its Facebook page, the library will reopen at 10 a.m. on Thursday.
Northville Parks and Recreation have also canceled activities for Wednesday. This includes first through third grade basketball clinics, which will be extendent until March 16. All morning fitness classes and youth programs are also canceled, as are all aquatics programs, according to the Parks and Rec Web site.
Powerlines may be affected
The NWS also cautions that "untreated roads will become slippery, snowpacked and dangerous. Heavy snow and strong winds may cause power outages.
DTE Energy offers the following tips on its website about how to get blizzard-ready:
- Battery-powered radio or television. The news media will provide updates on when electricity will be restored
- Flashlights or battery-operated lanterns
- Extra batteries
- Candles with holders
- Bottled water
- Manual can opener
- Nonperishable food
- Disposable plates and utensils
- Wind-up or battery-powered clock
- Corded telephone. Cordless phones don't work when the power goes out and your cell phone may not work if cell towers are affected
DTE also recommends protecting electronics with surge protectors in case of an outage.
Northville Patch will continue to provide updates on the blizzard throughout the storm.