All that white stuff out there? Great news for skiers and snowmobilers. And, for the first time in seven years, Cannonsburg Ski Area near Rockford, Mich. will open before Christmas — opening day is Dec. 17. (Last year, skiers missed out because of the warm, dry December weather.)
Other ski resorts are benefitting from the wintry weather as well. Crystal Mountain in Thompsonville, Mich. celebrated its 60th opening day on Dec. 10 and, for the second straight year, Boyne Mountain in Boyne Falls, Mich. has earned the distinction as No. 1 Terrain Park in the Midwest by TransWorld Snowboarding’s 2017 Park Poll. The magazine ranks the best terrain parks across North America and prints the annual list in its Nov. issue.
And then there’s Bittersweet Ski Area in Otsego, which opened Saturday, Dec. 10. (Last year, they were only open two days during December.)
You’ll find all the info you need on the ski resorts’ websites at the links above.
To promote enhanced safety during storm response and other road maintenance efforts, the Kent County Road Commission (KCRC)joins state, county and municipal transportation agencies throughout the state in installing green strobe lights on road maintenance vehicles. When motorists see green strobe lights, they are asked to slow down and be alert – a KCRC snowplow or road maintenance truck is performing work on the right of way.
“Our vehicles generally travel at speeds of 25-35 mph when conducting storm response efforts or other road maintenance activities. The ability for motorists to identify our vehicles quickly improves their own response time in reducing their speed, which provides the necessary space between vehicles and improves safety for both the motorists and our workers,” said Jerry Byrne, KCRC’s Deputy Managing Director of Operations.
Public transportation agencies advocate the use of green lights because they:
Improve the visibility of authorized public agency trucks while working in the right of way
Differentiate a public agency’s vehicles from other private motorists and companies using amber lights
For the past few years, KCRC has been advocating the use of green strobe lights on road maintenance vehicles. On September 7, 2016, an amendment to the Michigan Vehicle Code, Public Act 16 became effective, giving state, county and municipal transportation agencies the right to use green lights on their vehicles.
“Amber lights are used on vehicles performing all sorts of jobs: mail delivery, refuse pick-up, private plowing, even pizza delivery,” said Jerry Byrne, KCRC’s Deputy Managing Director of Operations. “By combining amber and green lights, public road agencies can differentiate themselves and, hopefully, motorists will learn to equate the green lights with storm response efforts or road repair. We think this will keep motorists, and our crews working along the right of way, safer.”
KCRC has been working with the Michigan Department of Transportation, the County Road Association of Michigan and other local road agencies to spread the word about the implementation of green lights on their road maintenance trucks.
“This winter, motorists will see the green strobe lights throughout the state,” said Byrne, “so it’s important we collaborate to get the message out: green strobe means go slow!”
As we creep ever closer to the snowy weather, the City of Wyoming has received a number of questions regarding which snow removal vehicles are authorized to use green flashing lights.
According to Michigan law, all vehicles engaged in the removal of snow are to be equipped with at least one (1) flashing, rotating or oscillating yellow or amber light. (MCL257.682c).
Last year, the Legislature enacted a change to MCL-257.698 that only allows state, county or municipal vehicles to use a green flashing, oscillating or rotating light — in combination with a yellow or amber light — while engaged in snow removal or other activities.
So, short answer: unless you’re driving a state, county or municipal vehicle, no green flashing lights for you.
Thanks to early warnings from the National Weather Services, warm ground temperatures, advance preparation by local Public Works Departments and the coordination from various municipalities, most travelers had an easy commute this morning.
A storm, forecasted by the National Weather Service, hit West Michigan around noon yesterday, leaving about seven to eight inches of heavy wet snow in both Wyoming and Kentwood, with some areas south of 44th Street receiving a little more.
“The National Weather Service really got this one right,” said Kentwood Public Works Director John Gorney. “Because of the early alerts, we were able to reorganize our work schedule so we were ready to go when the snow came.”
The same held true for the Wyoming Public Works Department, said Wyoming’s Assistant Director of Public Works Aaron Vis.
“Because we knew it was going to be a heavy wet snow, we were able to approach it a little differently,” Vis said. Starting about 2:30 p.m., Vis said the Wyoming Public Works department began to work on all of its major roads, salting and clearing them. Once those roads appeared to be staying clear, the plows were redirected to the city’s secondary and local streets.
“This way, as we went back out this morning, the plows would be only moving about three to four inches of snow instead of seven to eight,” Vis said. “The goal was to make sure residents wouldn’t get hung up on the instructions and were able to get out of their homes and to work.”
Gorney said Kentwood Public Works Department tackled its snow removal similarly by first working on the city’s major roads and the collector roads, which are major roads through the neighborhoods.
“The various communities do work together to make sure we are all providing similar services,” Gorney said. “The goal being that if a person is heading down 44th Street, which means they will be going through Grandville, Wyoming and Kentwood, that the plowing is such it appears seamless as the person drives down the street.”
Gorney said plows were working through the night with the department’s goal of having all the streets cleared along with the city’s 300 cul-de-sacs, the 20 locations with city sidewalk, all city-owned parking lots, and two miles of bike trails cleared within 24 hours after the storm. This one officially was done by 8 a.m. today, so it should all be cleared by 8 a.m. tomorrow, Gorney said.
Vis said Wyoming should be pretty much cleared by 2 p.m. today depending on whether a second lake effect storm comes through as predicted. That storm warning advisory is up through 4 p.m. today.
A few things to keep in mind as the plows continue to work on the streets are to slow down, keep a good distance away from the plows, and Vis said for Wyoming residents, keep in mind the odd/even parking rule as it helps the plows clear streets faster.
Both Vis and Gorney said residents should not experience any problems as it melts since the drains are clear. However, if residents do see problems, they should contact their respective municipalities.
Full disclosure: I did not come up with that cool title. You can thank the folks at Muskegon Winter Sports Complex & Luge for that wonderful burst of creativity.
If you’re like me, winter is not your favorite season. Believe it or not, though, there are millions of people out there who actually enjoy cold weather activities.
If you’re one of those people, you’re in luck: Muskegon Winter Sports Complex in Muskegon State Park offers skating, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing–and luge. If you’re not familiar with the sport, go here for an interesting read on its history.
One of only four luge tracks in the United States, the 850-foot Muskegon Luge Track is shorter in overall length than the Olympic tracks located in New York and Salt Lake City (3740+ feet) but provides an Olympic thrill with the safety of the participant in mind. (There is also a naturbahn style track in Marquette, Michigan, by the way.)
What To Expect & What is Provided
Whom do we have to thank for the availability of this activity right here in west Michigan–and in Muskegon, to boot? None other than three-time Olympian Frank Masley.
The track consists of six curves and two starting areas. Public participants slide from the 3/4 mark at speeds up to 30 mph. The track is designed specifically for general public use and those who never have slid before.
Although Olympians do not generally train here, the sports complex serves as a public and youth development seeding program to the USA Luge program. Five-time Olympian and two-time Olympic medalist Mark Grimmette got his start here. While here sliding, participants may receive some instruction and tips from one of the youth program athletes, some of whom are team members on the USA National Teams.
The facility provides all the equipment needed, including the use of a finely tuned Austrian or Latvian luge sled. Participants are provided with sanitized helmets and forearm pads. Heads up: Participants are expected to carry their own sleds to the top, and those puppies weigh around 30-40 pounds each.
For the initiate, there are coaches on hand to teach steering and safety techniques. After that, participants are set free to slide as many times as they can during the session. Runs are timed at the end of the session and awards are given out at the podium to the top finishers.
Of course, what’s an activity opportunity without the fine print? Before you can participate in luge, you must show proof of health insurance.
$45.00 per person on Saturdays and Sundays All Luge Tickets must be purchased in advance through an online reservation system. Due to limited space and increased demand, tickets cannot be reserved nor can tentative reservations be made. Group discounts are not available on Saturday or Sundays.
$40.00 per person for Friday Night Under The Lights Special night rate for individuals and groups 6-8:30pm.Get your tickets here.
Even though some of us may not be big fans of the cold weather, winter plays host to some of West Michigan’s most fun activities. Coats and boots may be necessary, so pack accordingly! Whether you enjoy speeding down the slopes or taking your time to enjoy the snow covered outdoors, West Michigan will keep you more than entertained during these winter months.
The Muskegon Winter Sports Complex
For some unique winter fun, check out the Muskegon Winter Sports Complex, located in Muskegon State Park. They have one of the only four publicly accessible luge tracks in the country! They also have snowboarding, skiing, and sledding on their five miles of groomed track. If you’re not interested in hitting the slopes, there is an ice rink and tracks for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. Equipment is available for rent.
The JW Marriott is helping you embrace and enjoy winter with the JW on Ice package! This package includes passes for ice skating at nearby Rosa Parks Circle, a holiday gift welcome amenity, and a complimentary breakfast from their delicious farm-to-table restaurant, six.one.six, to help you warm up.
Van Andel Arena & DeVos Place
Van Andel Arena will be home to the WCHA Final Five hockey championship on March 18. The men’s Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) is college hockey’s most historic, tradition-rich and successful conference and their premier conference tournament is coming to Grand Rapids. This two day event pits some the best college hockey teams in the region against each other. Visit the website for more ticket and group sale information.
January is National Learn to Ski & Snowboard Month and Crystal Mountain has you covered with their professional instructors and special lift tickets offer all of January. For January only, Crystal Mountain is bringing you an amazing deal with a ski and snowboard rental and 1-hour beginner group lesson for only $20. Advanced reservations requested.
Don’t need a lesson? Then bring a friend and enjoy the day with a two for one deal on lift tickets! Offer valid Mondays through Thursdays for the month of January. Whether you’re a newbie looking to learn how to shred the slopes or an experienced rider, Crystal Mountain is the place to be.
Shanty Creek Resorts
Shanty Creek, rated the “Midwest’s Best Downhill Terrain” by OnTheSnow.com, transforms themselves every year into a winter wonderland. There is something for every skill level from beginners to veterans who are always looking for a challenge. If the skiing and snowboarding doesn’t interest you, check out their tubing park, snowshoe trails, and cross-country trails. If you are interested in some snowy fun, Shanty Creek’s winter wonderland is calling to you.
Here in West Michigan we are lucky enough to experience all four seasons. This winter, get out and about and soak up the winter in a new way. The cold and snow isn’t going anywhere, might as well enjoy it while it’s here!
It took awhile, but Michigan finally decided it was time to let winter out of the basement and into the living room. With winter comes a barrage of snow that accumulates because of our trusted old friend Lake Michigan and its gift of ‘lake effect’ weather.
With snow comes the need to keep our roads and sidewalks plowed in order to keep citizen traffic flowing smoothly. A snow shoveled sidewalk keeps citizens walking on the sidewalks and off of the roads. It’s going to be a team effort to keep the sidewalks snow free this winter.
In the City of Wyoming, the City has a contractor hired to keep the sidewalks cleared. However, if there aren’t at least two inches of snowfall by 10 p.m., the contractor has to wait until the morning to start clearing. During that time the snow can get packed down, making it difficult to clear.
While the City does hire a service to clear the roads and sidewalks, it’s also up to the citizens and the business owners to do their part to keep the sidewalks cleared! Even if you don’t use the sidewalks, your neighbors might, and it’s your responsibility to make sure your portion of the sidewalk is snow free!
Take pride in your sidewalk and help make the City of Wyoming a safer place this winter.
In part one of Lou Haveman’s story about Creation Care, Lou wrote of his family background in rural Michigan as an inspiration for his commitment to installing and promoting solar energy systems. His childhood built an appreciation for nature into his life.
In part two, Lou writes about his decision to move forward with the installation process even after he got a bid of $40,000 to make it happen. Bottom line – start wherever you can afford to and plan to grow.
We started with 4.5 KW system, about 50% of what we need. I took the 30% tax credit and saved just shy of $800 off the first 12 months of my Consumers electric bill. In the meantime I received three S-REX (Solar Renewable Energy Credits) each worth about $15.00. These credits will continue to grow the more alternative energy I contribute to the grid. I have a system that is estimated to last 40 years with a payback in about nine. The tax assessor did not raise my assessment. However, the value of my property increased substantially. Over-all not a bad investment looking just at the economics.
When it is hot and sunny. I do not complain. The electric meter is running backwards. When it rains my garden flourishes and produces. The Solar panels work every day and require zero maintenance unless I want to brush off the snow. My carbon foot print is zero. I love to read my solar inverter. As of today I have “saved” 6,364 lbs. of CO2. Best of all I believe in creation care, living within and on the abundance of energy God through nature has already provided…free!
Yet, this is only the beginning. I feel like we are only at the model T stage of renewable energy. As I think about expanding, technology already has expanded. Here are a few new things we are thinking about:
Complete our system to cover 100% of our energy needs.
Add a solar circuit to our breaker box so I can run the furnace fan and thermostat independently of our grid.
Purchase a 100% electric vehicle.
Build a solar powered hydroponic high density garden with a fish pond as a nutrient base.
And there is so much more: geo-thermal, replacing the gas HWHs with electric on demand, more LED lights…All of this should keep us busy for a while!
Really, it is. I couldn’t believe it myself but when I went to schedule something on my calendar for next month, there it was March 20 First Day of Spring.
That’s exactly one month from today when the high temperature might reach 13 degrees later this afternoon without wind chills factored into the equation.
While the calendar doesn’t lie, Mother Nature likes to tease us. Just last Sunday afternoon when it was sunny with minus wind chills, my friends and I saw two robins flirting about a tree surrounded by a five-foot drift! It was confusing for sure – “Hey robins! Yeah! Spring!” Then we realized the pile of snow. “Wait – what? How are they going survive without eating worms?! – Won’t they die? – What are they doing here NOW?”
We remain baffled and wondering if they survived the week.
Meanwhile, back to the calendar that doesn’t lie, it is true that the first day of Spring is Friday, March 20. I can say with confidence that about a million Americans are ready for it! We just need to send the memo to Mother Nature. Here is what the “2015 Farmer’s Almanac” predicts:
MARCH 2015: temperature 33° (5° below avg.); precipitation 2″ (1″ below avg.); Mar 1-10: Snow showers, cold; Mar 11-14: Showers, mild; Mar 15-24: Snow, then flurries, cold; Mar 25-31: Snow, then a few showers, cool.
That sounds about par with what we’re going through now, but I’d like to pray for the miracle of a warm spell. Mother Nature, it’s your game. We are but mere pawns in your strategy. In the meantime, think Spring people! Think really hard!
A cold grey day in Michigan may not seem like the best time to rely on solar heating systems, but Lou Haveman in Grandville would disagree. “We produce our own electricity,” says Lou, “and when we produce more than we need, it goes back on the grid.” More than he needs to power a house full of appliances, including his furnace? Yes, even in the coldest weather.
Lou still gets some of his electricity from Consumers Energy. But in December 2013 he installed a solar system in his home and spent all of 2014 watching his energy bills go down by nearly 60%. At 12 cents a kilowatt, that adds up to a savings of about $725.
It wasn’t all about saving money for Lou. He’s a strong supporter of what is sometimes called Creation Care – acting as a loving steward for Planet Earth http://www.creationcare.org/
Lou explains, “Simply to live in balance with nature, recognizing environmental issues need to be addressed. It’s one thing to talk about it, it’s another thing to act on it.”
And it’s not easy to take action. “Consumers Energy actually has a lottery system. They allocate so many kilowatt hours for solar. You submit your application and by lottery if you’re selected, then you’re approved.” Lou says finding someone you trust who is skilled and experienced in solar installation is critical. “Initially, I’m pretty handy. I thought this is something I could do, but realistically that isn’t a viable option.”
Some rebates or tax incentives are available for homeowners who want to install alternative energy programs. But even though Lou got lucky in the lottery, eventually found Solar Winds to plan and install his system, and qualified for a 30% tax credit, he still had to spend about $20,000 to make it happen. Still Lou looks to the future. He expects to recover all the cost of the installation in about 10 years’ time, after which his electricity will be virtually free.
“But in addition to that,” says Lou, “it’s just incredibly rewarding to look at that meter and see it run backwards. I realize not everyone has the financial resources [to invest in alternative energy], but if we do I think it’s imperative that we do so.”
For a video version of this story, click on the play button at the top of the page.
by Kent County Emergency Management & Health Department
Arctic air is expected to blast into Kent County in the coming days, with the potential to bring record low temperatures and wind chills could reach -35 in the coming days. The Kent County Health Department and Kent County Emergency Management urge residents take every precaution possible with these extreme cold days and nights.
“Be aware of the conditions outdoors, even if you only plan on going outside for a few minutes,” said Jack Stewart, Kent County Emergency Management Coordinator. “Check on your family members, your friends, and your neighbors, especially those who are elderly. The cold can be especially harsh on young children, people with pre-existing medical conditions, and seniors.” Respiratory issues can occur from breathing in cold air, such as asthma attacks. Be sure children with asthma are wearing a scarf when outdoors, and if they appear to have trouble breathing, get them to a warm, sheltered area immediately.
“Frostbite sets in quick, especially in small pets and young children, when we see negative wind chills,” says Adam London, Administrative Health Officer of the Kent County Health Department. “If you are going outdoors, wear layers of light, warm clothing, mittens or gloves, hats, scarves, and waterproof boots. And keep a close eye on children.”
Symptoms of frostbite include redness, numbness or pain, white or grayish-yellow skin, or skin that feels unusually firm or waxy. Frostbite most often affects the extremities: nose, ears, cheeks, fingers, or toes. If the person appears to be very tired or lethargic, is having trouble breathing or talking, shivers or fumbles his or her hands, or seems confused, call 911 immediately. Try to keep the person warm until help arrives.
If driving in these conditions, make sure your car has more than enough gas to reach your destination. Keep a cell phone and phone charger in the car, and keep an emergency kit and blanket within your reach.
Keep pets indoors as much as possible. Make sure they are on a leash or in a fenced in area when they need to relieve themselves. The smaller the pet, the quicker the cold impacts them. Puppies and kittens are especially sensitive to the cold, as are older pets. Watch out for community cats that might crawl under the hood of your car to keep warm. Bang loudly on the hood before starting the car, and never leave pets in a car during the winter. Temperatures can be just as cold inside the car as they are outdoors.
Old Man Winter hit hard—really hard these past few weeks. With wind chills below zero and temperatures continue to dip, it’s important to stay warm and safe.
The American Red Cross offers these safety tips. Protect yourself from frostbite and hypothermia by wearing warm, loose-fitting, lightweight clothing in several layers. Stay indoors, if possible. Mittens are warmer than gloves and get water/resistant coats and boots.
Avoid driving when conditions include sleet, freezing rain or drizzle, snow or dense fog.
Before tackling strenuous tasks in cold temperatures, consider your physical condition, the weather factors and the nature of the task.
Check on your animals. If possible, bring them indoors
Protect your pipes
Run water, even at a trickle, to help prevent your pipes from freezing. Open the kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing.
Better safe than sorry. Keep the thermostat at the same temperature day and night. Your heating bill may be a little higher, but you could avoid a more costly repair job if your pipes freeze and burst.
Frostbite and Hypothermia
Frostbite and hypothermia are cold-related emergencies that may quickly become life or limb threatening. Preventing cold-related emergencies includes not starting an activity in, on, or around cold water unless you know you can get help quickly in an emergency.
Drink plenty of warm fluids or warm water but avoid caffeine and alcohol. Stay active to maintain body heat. Take frequent breaks from the cold.
Avoid unnecessary exposure of any part of the body to the cold. Get out of the cold immediately if the signals of hypothermia or frostbite appear.
The Recreation Passport is your key to winter fun at state parks
Whether you ski, sled, toboggan, ice fish, snowmobile or snowshoe, Michigan’s state parks offer lots of seasonal fun. Michigan motorists can get in on the fun by buying a Recreation Passport when they renew their plate tabs or get a new plate, Secretary of State Ruth Johnson reminded residents today.
Many state parks offer snowmobiling, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing opportunities and events, among other wintertime outdoor activities, and state boat launches are great places for anglers to find new ice-fishing spots. Select state parks offer winter camping opportunities in lodges, yurts, tepees and several types of cabins.
“Winter is a great time of year and offers many opportunities for outdoor recreation,” said Johnson, who loves the outdoors and has been known to kayak in January. “I encourage people renewing their plate tab to help support Michigan’s exceptional parks by buying a Recreation Passport. For only $11, the natural wonder of Michigan’s woods and waters can be yours all year long.”
The Recreation Passport allows Michigan motorists the option of paying an additional $11 per vehicle, or $5 per motorcycle, when renewing a vehicle registration or registering a new vehicle. The letter “P” is printed on the vehicle tab of people who have bought the Recreation Passport. The passport allows entry into Michigan state parks and recreational areas, forest campgrounds, and boat launch and nonmotorized trail head parking for no additional cost.
“Michigan’s state parks, trails, boat launches and other outdoor spaces are true treasures. They make our state a great place to live, work and play,” said Department of Natural Resources Director Keith Creagh. “Checking ‘yes’ to the Recreation Passport allows people to enjoy these treasures and ensures that these important natural areas will be around for generations to come.”
Motorists can renew plates for individually owned or leased cars, pickup trucks, vans and motorcycles up to six months before they expire. Most customers can renew online at ExpressSOS.com, which features Print N Go technology, allowing users to buy their tabs online, print off a receipt and carry the receipt as proof of renewal until their tabs arrive in the mail. Tabs may also be renewed through the mail or at a Secretary of State office. License plates that expire on a day when state offices are closed can be renewed the next business day without penalty.
In FY 2014, more than 1.9 million Recreation Passports were issued, generating almost $21 million for state parks.
The City of Wyoming has owned & operated Ideal Park, 5843 Crippen Avenue SW, since 1938. On July 6, 2014, the park was significantly changed when a tornado destroyed the playgrounds and most of the trees, changing the character of the park so that a new development plan is necessary to guide investment priorities.
The tornado’s destruction, coupled with regular flooding from Buck Creek has also resulted in the need to renovate the parking lot, basketball and tennis courts. All combined, this requires us to evaluate the park’s design, facilities, and functional relationships related to your family’s interests, community programming needs, and general public uses.
Your input is actively sought and greatly desired.
Please join the Wyoming Parks and Recreation Department and our consultant P.M. Blough, Inc. to share your ideas and opinions on the park and its future redevelopment:
When: TUESDAY DECEMBER 2, 2014 6:30 pm
Where: IDEAL PARK CHRISTIAN REFORMED CHURCH ACTIVITY CENTER 320 56TH ST SW Wyoming, MI 49548
Residents, business owners, school representatives – everyone who has an interest in Ideal Park’s use and development is strongly encouraged to attend this meeting. If you are unable to attend, written comments may be submitted to the Wyoming Parks and Recreation Department at P.O. Box 905, 1155 – 28th St. SW, Wyoming, MI 49509 or may be emailed to email@example.com.
On behalf of the City Council and Parks and Recreation Commission, thank you for helping make our community a wonderful place to live, work, and play.
As fall colors fade and temperatures drop, Pure Michigan is ushering in winter weather fun with the release of the 2014 Pure Michigan Winter Guide. The michigan.org website and social channels, including Facebook and Twitter, are also switching into winter gear for the season.
“Michigan offers residents and visitors alike a perfect opportunity to take a snow day and enjoy all the winter season has to offer,” said Leslie Hornung, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. “This travel guide inspires people to embrace the beauty and unique events found in Michigan all winter long, while providing valuable tips and information to help plan a wide variety of getaways throughout the season.”
Individuals can request a copy of the 2014 Pure Michigan Winter Travel Guide at michigan.org or by calling toll-free (888) 784-7328. The guide will also be available at the 14 Michigan Welcome Centers across the state as well as in a free, universally accessible digital edition, which will allow users to access the guide from their desktop and laptop computers, smartphones and tablets.
Feature stories in this year’s winter guide include Into the Woods, a look at ways to explore Michigan’s backcountry – from snowmobiling to fat-tire biking; Winter Weekend Escapes, highlighting ski resorts around the state; and Cool Catch showcasing Michigan’s ice fishing assets. Those who prefer the indoors will want to check out The Art of Pie, with information on hands-on classes for the perfect pie, and Indoor Explorers to find kid-focused museums that entertain and educate.
The publication also includes a guide to Michigan state parks and trails and a winter events calendar. Once again, 100,000 copies of the winter guides have been printed at Quad Graphics in Midland, Michigan.
Last month, Pure Michigan teamed up with Lands’ End to offer fans across the nation the chance to win an ultimate winter getaway at Boyne Highlands Resort. There is still time to sign up to win, with the sweepstakes running through November 14, 2014. The prize package features a five day/four night trip for five to Boyne Highlands Resort including skiing, snowshoeing, winter zip-lining, spa services and access to the indoor water park at nearby Boyne Mountain. Additionally the winner will receive a $1,000 gift card from Lands’ End to outfit their Michigan adventure.
Michigan is home to 6,500 miles of snowmobile trails, 3,000 miles of cross country skiing trails and is second in the nation for the number of ski areas found across the state. Offering activities as diverse as tubing, ice fishing dog sledding and snowboarding Michigan winter vacations has something for everyone from outdoor enthusiasts and adventure seekers to families – much of which can be found in the 2014 winter guide.
Pure Michigan is a brand representing business, talent and tourism initiatives across Michigan. These efforts are driven by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, which serves as the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business growth, jobs and opportunity with a focus on helping grow Michigan’s economy.
On July 5, an EF1 tornado hit the Southern Metro area that caused millions of dollars in damage to properties. Residents in Wyoming and Kentwood continue to work on fixing all of the destruction. About 400 of our residents were effected. The tornado stripped floors and ceilings of businesses and homes. Parks were demolished and vehicles and residences destroyed.
The Michigan Disaster Center states, “Compared with other states Michigan ranks number 20 for frequency of tornadoes, 5 for numbers of death, 8 for injuries and 22 for cost of damages.”
What is the best way to protect our neighbors and loved ones from a disaster such as this? The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) makes suggestion on some safety precautions:
-Keep at least a 3-day water supply per person and don’t forget about your pets.
-Get a refrigerator thermometer to be sure of safe storage temperatures if you lose electricity. Freeze extra containers of water ahead of time. use ice chests in case power is out for more than 4 hours.
The National Weather Service Office gives some more important tips on how to recognize signs of a tornado:
-Strong persistent rotation in cloud base.
-Whirling dust or debris on the ground under a cloud base
-Hail or heavy rain followed by either dead, calm, or fast, intense wind shift.
-A loud, continuous roar or rumble that also has a whistling sound.
If you are in a house with a basement: Avoid windows! Get in the basement and under some kind of heavy table or work bench. Cover yourself with a mattress or sleeping bag. Never go under pianos, refrigerators, or water beds. Even in an interior room, you should cover yourself with some sort of thick padding mattress.
Go to the lowest floor, small center room–like a bathroom or closet–under a stair well or in an interior hallway with no windows for more safety.
You should not try to outrun a tornado in your car. An EF-1 tornado can push a moving car off the road and an EF-2 tornado can pick a car off the ground.
Never hide under an overpass. Try to get to a nearby building and go inside to the lowest level without windows.
If there are not any buildings nearby, though, you can still protect yourself. If you spot a tornado, stop your car. If you can safely get lower than the level of the roadway, leave your car and lie as low as possible. Be sure to cover your head with your hands or an object. Move away from your vehicle. Do not hide underneath it, debris could fall on top of it and smash you.
For more tips on how to protect yourself in a car, truck, shopping mall, church, office building, or mobile home go to www.disastercenter.com. In order to find out how to apply for financial assistance, check out: www.fema.gov. If you would like information about current severe weather check out the Storm Prediction Center at www.weather.gov.