Snowstorm dumps up to 8 inches across SE Michigan - New York News

Snowstorm dumps up to 8 inches across SE Michigan

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COMMERCE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WJBK/AP) -- Southeastern Michigan residents are making the best of the region's first big snowstorm of the season, which peaked during the evening rush hour, causing widespread traffic accidents while interrupting hundreds of flights at the state's largest airport.

The storm also led Gov. Rick Snyder to delay signing some bills passed in the Legislature's end-of-year session.

The fringe of a winter storm centered farther south pushed into populous metropolitan Detroit on Wednesday afternoon. Snowfall totals were highest in St. Clair County where Port Huron unofficially received over 8 inches, according Weather Authority Ben Bailey.

Detroit Metropolitan Airport reported nearly 6 inches, while Rochester Hills totaled near 7 inches of snow.

At least 100 flights were canceled or rerouted and at least 240 others were delayed by an hour or more Wednesday.

Melissa Cataldi, 46, of Union Lake, openly cursed the winter storm as she stood pumping gas at a service station in Oakland County's Commerce Township, snow swirling around her partially covered face.

"I'm not a skier. I'm not a skater. And I'm definitely not an Eskimo," said the bookkeeper whose typical daily work commute is 45 minutes, but was stretched to nearly three hours Wednesday evening because of slippery roads, slow-moving traffic and multiple expressway spin-outs. "At this point, I just want to get home to my family and thaw out. I know it's winter, but this is no blizzard. I could have walked home quicker."

Brian DeMars, 26, of Farmington Hills, welcomed the winter blast. The landscaper whose family of four relies on snow removal for half of its wintertime income said the storm allowed him to make extra money before the Christmas spending bills come due.

"It's like that Christmas song ... `On the second day of Christmas, Mother Nature gave to me, a winter storm and OT ..."'

Rebecca Samuelson, 32, said she abandoned her husband at home Wednesday evening, where the power was out because of a downed power line. She escaped their darkened West Bloomfield home in favor of the warm confines of a nearby fitness club.

"While he's home hooking up the generator and getting the driveway cleared, I decided the best thing for me to do is come to gym and get a good workout," she said. "At least it's warm here. There's no point in both of us freezing."

Before the storm hit, rock salt and ice scrapers were flying off store shelves at an Aco Hardware store in Southfield as people delayed post-Christmas to prepare for the winter weather.

"It's been quite a blast -- tons of customers," said assistant manager Chris Mokrzycki, 23. "We've already sold a pallet of ice melter. This is the first time we're finally seeing the snow supplies flying off the shelves."

At a Dunkin' Donuts in nearby Oak Park, retiree Ernie Marable cradled a hot drink after gassing up his snow blower.

Marable, 65, said he didn't put much stock in the snowfall forecasts and said he was preparing for the worst.

"When they say four to eight inches, it could be two feet," he said. "I didn't even hear the amount of inches. I just heard `snowstorm,"' he said.

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Goodman reported from Southfield and Oak Park.

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