May 23 • 05:15 PM

Messy storm creates snags

More than 7 inches of snow blankets area, snarls traffic

A Lapeer County Road Commission grader clears Fairgrounds Road in Imlay Twp. on Monday. photo by Maria Brown.

February 24, 2010
TRI-CITY AREA — Residents are still digging out after a winter storm dumped more than a half foot of wet, heavy snow on southeast Michigan on Monday.

Here's how the days' events played out:

6:06 a.m. Imlay City and surrounding school districts cancelled classes for the day due to worsening road conditions.

8:29 a.m. 1.2 inches of snow was recorded in Capac by a National Weather Service co-op observer. 12:29 p.m. Within minutes of one another, police were called to a pair of crashes along M-53 Monday afternoon, both of which were attributed to adverse road conditions.

Police Sgt. John Morse reported that Doreen Tabacchi, 62, of Lewiston was injured, when the northbound 2006 Ford Freestar in which she was a passenger collided with a 1996 Dodge Caravan driven by Judy Novak, 49, of Romeo.

Morse said Novak had been traveling southbound and navigating around the lane switch at Hollow Corners Rd., when she lost control and entered the northbound lane.

She collided with the Freestar driven by the victim's husband, Daniel Tabacchi, 63, also of Lewiston.

Morse said Doreen Tabacchi was transferred to the hospital by Lapeer County EMS, where she was treated for non-life threatening injuries. He said Novak refused medical treatment at the scene.

Almost simultaneously, said Morse, the driver of a southbound semi-truck drove into a ditch about 150 yards north of the previous accident site.

"The car ahead of him had suddenly stopped," said Morse, "and the semi driver decided to take the ditch rather than slam into the rear of the car."

Morse said Almont police were assisted at the scene by Imlay City police, Almont firefighters and Lapeer County Sheriff's deputies.

He added that it took more than an hour for emergency crews to clear the accident scene.

3:11 p.m. Deputy Steve Campau of the St. Clair County Sheriff's Department said since 6 a.m. Monday, police had been called to 42 vehicles in the ditch, 59 property damage accidents and seven personal injury accidents, although no one had sustained serious injuries.

3:43 p.m. The National Weather Service reports that a trained spotter in the Almont area recorded 6.6 inches of snow.

7 p.m. A Capac-area observer measured six inches of snow.

8:30 p.m. A trained spotter in Lum logged 7.6 inches of the white stuff within a 15 hour time period, the weather service said.

Tuesday, 4:15 a.m. Supt. Dr. Gary Richards and Transportation Director Deby Smith took a drive to survey road conditions around Imlay City.

"The main roads were fine but the back roads were still pretty slippery and wet considering the snow was so wet," Richards said, of their decision to cancel classes.

Almont and Dryden also chose to take another snow day, although Capac Schools were back in session Tuesday.

12:15 p.m. Kirk Weston of the St. Clair County Road Commission said his plow crews worked late hours on Monday but "hit it hard again this morning."

Besides the usual challenges a storm brings, Weston said "it was a heavy snow this time around. I expect mailbox damage reports and that sort of thing."

Residents whose mailboxes fell victim to a plow can contact the road commission at (810) 364-5720.

• • • • •

The forecast calls for additional snow showers through the week with accumulation of less than an inch during the day today (Feb. 24) and around one inch through Wednesday night.

Maria Brown joined the Tri-City Times staff in 2003, the same year she earned a bachelor's degree in English from Calvin College. Born and raised in Imlay City, she now resides north of Capac where she enjoys working on the farm, gardening and reading.
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