Downriver digs out, then plays

Residents coped with the aftermath of a storm that dumped 9 inches of snow on Riverview Tuesday and Wednesday. Above, Shawn Wilson uses a snowblower Wednesday in front of his house on Fordline. Below, Paige Barrows, 5, sleds down a hill on Quarry Road in Wednesday as her father, Mike Barrows, helps out.

Photos by Andrea Poteet

Cities cope with snowfall

Sunday Times Newspapers

A snowfall expected to bring up to 2 feet of snow to the area Tuesday and Wednesday dumped only about 9 inches in some areas.

Some reports had predicted between 1 and 2 feet of snow for the snowstorm with thunder that hit Tuesday night. A second storm hit Wednesday afternoon.

Wyandotte accumulated 8.8 inches of snow, according to the National Weather Service. Schools and city offices were closed for the day Wednesday.

In Riverview, 9 inches fell, prompting the closing of Riverview Community Schools.

Allen Park and Melvindale/Northern Allen Park schools also were closed.

Snow emergencies were declared in most Downriver cities, with cars banned from parking on the street so that snowplows could come through.

Wyandotte Police Chief Dan Grant said the aftermath of the blizzard was not as bad as city officials had predicted.

“Thankfully, it was pretty quiet (Wednesday), other than just clearing our streets,” Grant said. “There were no serious accidents and no power outages.”

In Melvindale, there were not many automobile accidents, but about 19 residents parked their cars on the streets, impeding snowplows.

Police Chief Rick Cadez said the number was much less than in recent years because of the department’s new policy to tag cars parked illegally and tow them after 12 hours.

“When people saw those stickers, they moved their cars,” Cadez said.

In Allen Park, the snow removal was not the challenge weathermen had predicted, Department of Public Services Director Doug Morton said.

“All in all, it was pretty good,” he said of the cleanup effort, which involved five snowplows. “It was just average.”

Morton said budget cuts in the last few years have decreased the number of snowplows on the road from seven to five, but that this snowfall did not present any problems for their reduced staff.

Crews started the cleanup effort at about 3 a.m. Wednesday, Morton said, and continued until 4 p.m. that day. The next day, they worked another similar shift to clear the remaining snow.

(Contact Andrea Poteet at