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Winter storm warning extended to Friday as snow continues to fall across the region

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More than a foot possible, says National Weather Service

Forecasters extended a winter storm warning to Friday in western Michigan with some areas likely to get more than a foot of snow.

Counties west of U.S. 131 and closer to Lake Michigan were expected to see the largest amount, the National Weather Service said.

“It’s just going to keep snowing,” the weather service said.

Dozens of schools were closed Wednesday morning before snow began accumulating. Drivers who used north-south roads in the region faced whiteout conditions. State police reported vehicle crashes on U.S. 131 in Kent County, north and south of Grand Rapids.

In the Upper Peninsula, a similar storm warning was posted for Marquette and the western edge.

“We are not going to apply a lot of chemicals when it’s snowing this hard and the wind’s blowing,” said Jerry Byrne of the Kent County Road Commission. “Because all we’re really going to do is cause the snow to melt for a very short amount of pavement and it’s going to refreeze.”

Andrew Nichols, maintenance superintendent at the Muskegon County Road Commission, said it would be “all hands on deck” for his plow crews.

“Travel could become very difficult. Areas of blowing snow will significantly reduce visibility,” the weather service said.

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