© 2024 Interlochen
CLASSICAL IPR | 88.7 FM Interlochen | 94.7 FM Traverse City | 88.5 FM Mackinaw City IPR NEWS | 91.5 FM Traverse City | 90.1 FM Harbor Springs/Petoskey | 89.7 FM Manistee/Ludington
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Mackinac Bridge, other roadways close due to accidents, white-out conditions Tuesday

  The Mackinac Bridge was closed for about a four and a half hours today (Tue.) due to a blizzard and a multi-vehicle crash. One person was injured.

High winds kicked up snow off the frozen Straits of Mackinac causing a white-out on the bridge, says James Lake of the Michigan Department of Transportation.

“The crews were able to get all the crashed vehicles off the bridge, get that scene cleared,” he says. “But then we still had to wait a couple more hours for the weather to shift and the white-out conditions to improve.”

Lake says eight vehicles were involved in the crash. The bridge closed twice last winter.

Accidents have been forcing lane closures on state highways across northern Lower Michigan and a winter weather advisory has been extended until 11:00 pm. The Grand Traverse County Sheriff's Department reports a fatal accident on Williamsburg Road a little after 10:00 am.

A five county Meals on Wheels program managed to deliver meals earlier this week when schools were closed due to cold, but Tuesday’s deliveries proved more problematic.

Lisa Robitshek, with the Northwest Michigan Community Action Agency, says, even with area schools back open Tuesday some of her drivers couldn’t complete their rounds – including a long-time driver in Manistee County.

“It was so bad,” she says. “He got out there and he was so upset. He had eight clients to go and he said, ‘I just can’t do it.’ He didn’t feel it was safe for him to be out on the road. He thought he might hurt someone else. So he had to turn back.”

Meals on Wheels prepares for days like this. Back in the fall they delivered meals that can sit on the shelf until they’re needed.  They also encourage neighbors, and others, to check in on home-bound seniors.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987. His journalism background includes stints with UPI, The Elizabeth (NJ) Daily Journal, The (Pontiac, MI) Oakland Press, and WJR. He is also a lifelong public radio listener.