Snowmelt causes hazardous road conditions

March 16, 2019

SHERMAN TWP. — Officials are urging Mason County drivers to use extreme caution after a massive thaw on Wednesday and rainfall on Thursday resulted in hazardous road conditions.

The Grand Rapids Office of the National Weather Service is encouraging drivers to be extra vigilant when navigating area roads and to be prepared to encounter “significant standing water” on roadways.

Several inches of standing water can be seen in places throughout Mason County, covering fields in out-county areas, blocking intersections and posing a danger to motorists.

Mason County Road Commission Superintendent Eric Moody said the surfaces of some roads have been covered entirely.

“One of the biggest problems right now is you’ve got a problem with water going across the road,” Moody said. “The roads and lands are being blocked with water.”

Another problem is that snowbanks along the sides of roads are still frozen, preventing water from draining from the surfaces of the roads.

“The snowbanks are frozen and hard, and it’s not letting the water off the road into the ditch,” he said. “It’s just trapping it right in the road, so we need to break holes in them where the water can get through.”

High water levels on road surfaces can cause cars to hydroplane. Additionally, there are areas where frost is still present, especially in shaded areas that haven’t been reached by the sun.

Read the full story in Friday’s Ludington Daily News print or e-Edition.