By John Raffel
ALLEGAN – Allegan County Board of Commissioners chairman Jim Storey reported the pre-Christmas blizzard tested the response of public safety agencies throughout the county last week.
Blizzard warnings were forecasted for the weekend across the state and it proved to be the case with snow, high winds and freezing temperatures.
Driving was challenging all weekend and law enforcement officials encouraged people not to travel, if possible, but if necessary, especially since it was a holiday weekend, to use extreme caution.
“A sheriff’s deputy car was rear-ended by a semi-truck on U.S. 131 during the height of the storm last Friday,” Storey wrote in his weekly newsletter. “Fortunately, the deputy escaped injury. At various times, the county’s main north-south corridors were closed: M-40 between Hamilton and Holland, U.S. 131 near Wayland, and I-196 near Saugatuck.
“Though staged warming centers were prepared to open in Wayland and at Sandy Pines, they went unused as most motorists chose wisely to stay off the roads and highways while the storm raged. Obviously, those hoping for a white Christmas were bounteously rewarded.”
The Allegan County Sheriff’s Department as of the evening of last Friday reported: “All vehicles on US-131 have been removed and US-131 is now back open.”