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Weekend warm-up in Michigan to melt some snow, bring rain; rising river levels expected

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GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan — A weekend of warmer temperatures and rain after heavy snowfall could lead to rising river levels and flooding in some parts of Michigan, according to forecasters.

Grand Rapids saw its snowiest November on record through Wednesday, the National Weather Service said.

An accumulation of 28.4 inches topped the previous record of 28.2 inches from 1895, the Grand Rapids Press reported.

A freezing rain advisory for western Michigan is in effect beginning at 4 a.m. Saturday.

That rain also has the potential to increase the weight of already heavy snow on roofs.

"The snowpack kind of acts like a big sponge," meteorologist Bill Marino told The Grand Rapids Press. "You can put a fair amount of water in snow before it starts to melt, which increases its weight."

WOOD-TV reported that a man collapsed and died of a suspected heart attack on Tuesday while shoveling snow in Grand Rapids.

Only about two inches of snow fell on the Lansing area this week, but volunteers and Michigan State University workers began shoveling it away inside Spartan Stadium, according to MLive.com. Michigan State takes on Rutgers at noon on Saturday at home.

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