LANSING, Michigan — Michigan officials are monitoring rivers and crews are cleaning storm drains along highways in the state's Lower Peninsula to prepare for heavy storms, Gov. Rick Snyder told reporters Wednesday.
The state and its residents must take precautions as temperatures rise along with the potential for flooding from rainfall and melting snow, Snyder said. The National Weather Service said rain forecast for Thursday could top an inch in some places on the saturated soils of southern Michigan.
In a statement, Snyder's office said that the large amount of water contained in the snowpack and the thick ice on rivers "could potentially cause ice jams and rising levels."
The Republican governor urged residents to avoid driving on roads that appear flooded and make sure gutters and downspouts on homes and businesses are cleared.
Meanwhile, Upper Peninsula residents must prepare for blizzard conditions that could include snow accumulations of six inches or more and sustained west winds with gusts of up to 35 miles per hour, he said.
"Let's be prepared, let's be smart, let's help one another," Snyder said at a news conference. "This is a record winter in terms of cold, snow and other conditions."
"It's been a challenging winter ... and we're not through it yet," he said. "Let's all stay informed of the changing weather conditions and put safety first."