Blizzard Wrap

February 2nd, 2011 at 11:57 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

<–five-six foot snow drift (pic. by Bryan from POSTED).  8:15 PM update:  Here’s a write-up on the storm from GRR NWS, and the Wikipedia article on the storm.   Storm Total Snowfall:  GRR (NWS at the Ford Airport) 17.2″ for Feb. 1 (6.1″) and 2 (11.1″) combined, Lansing 12.2″ storm total.  The two-day total for Kalamazoo was 11.4″ as of noon.  Kalamazoo is up to 50.2″ for the season.  Muskegon added 13.9″ for the storm and now their season snowfall is at 80.6″ and S. Bend is up to 91.5″ for the winter after getting 12.8″ from this storm.  Spotter reports from 6″ in SE Jackson Co. to a high of 18″ near Hudsonville.  We’ll have a detailed map on the news tonight.  The Winter Weather Advisory has been canceled for all but Berrien County.  A band of lake-effect snow showers is located from Silver Lake in Oceana Co. down to far western van Buren and Berrien Counties.  This band will continue to come farther east into the lakeshore counties.  Most areas under the band will be a dusting to an inch, still enough to produce a few slick spots.   The snow is extremely difficult to measure.  We had both a 7″ total and a 13″ total from just a couple miles away and we know that kind of difference can’t be right.   There are a lot of totals in the 9-15″ range.  I slept a few hours in the old audio booth early this morning on the floor.  G.R. City parking ramps are free until midnight.  We’ve had a report of a partial roof collapse at the Spartan Stores Complex on 76th St with four injuries.  They had significant tree damage from a microburst last July on that property.  I still haven’t gone out to the parking lot to see if I can get out of here tonight.  Just in my personal opinion, I would vote the blizzards of 1967 (I was in Wilmette, IL at the time) and 1978 were bigger, badder and more disruptive than the blizzard (and it did qualify as a blizzard) of 2011.

234 Responses to “Blizzard Wrap”

  1. Bill says:

    Jan. 18, 1978 is still the worst storm in my life but this one was almost as bad. It’s great that I could witness two of them in my lifetime. I guess 1951 was another one, 6 months before I was born.

  2. INDY says:

    18 thick one’s from this Blizzard and 27 fixxells total on my ground with 4 foot drifts thee YARDofBRICKS…Who had the Blizzard wizzard!!!!!INDY!!!!!!

  3. Kuku says:

    It looks like it’s going to cold for quite a while even though there won’t be much snow in the near future.

  4. mike says:

    So I get rain in Hastings on Dec 31 for New Years Eve. Then I go on assignment and get rain on Feb 2 (Chinese New Years Eve, Singapore) But I’ll bet it isn’t going to get much cooler here in Singapore. Looking forward to snow in 4 weeks.

  5. Hummer 13 says:

    Indy can Fred’s deliver an 18″ super deluxe to the yard of bricks???? You should hook a sled up to Rocky and help some neighbors….
    See we are going to get some more snow Sunday/Monday R U READY??????

  6. slim Jim nw GR (2) says:

    Well the driveway is all cleared, now just wating for the road to be plowed.
    Only 4X4′s are getting down my road and full sized ones at that.

  7. Mike (Mattawan) says:

    wow, the plows actually came by my road! That is amazing how quickly they came! But now there is a huge pile of snow at the end of my driveway :( lol, get the shovels out again……. :D

  8. Randy (Rockford says:

    What are people predicting for school closings for tomorrow? I say most schools in the GR area will be open. Any opinions?

    1. Mike (Mattawan) says:

      i think the more rural schools will be the ones to close, like the ones already closing. Most medium and large sized schools should be open, like Grand Rapids Public, Kalamazoo Public, ETC. Most schools period should be open tomorrow. Road crews are doing a pretty good job at cleaning up the snow….

      1. Randy (Rockford says:

        Yes, that is about what I was thinking.

      2. slim Jim nw GR (2) says:

        Its hard to say many side streets in GR are still not plowed yet.

        1. slim Jim nw GR (2) says:

          My road is still not plowed yet. And NO cars have gotten down it and I am sure there are many side streets just like mine all over the area.

        2. Lisa says:

          GR Public and Kzoo are closed Thursday. East GR and Greenville too. Waiting to see for Rockford. They probably won’t call it until morning. I was shocked when they called it at 8:30 last night!

      3. Chuck R. in Paw Paw says:

        Around my neck of the woods, only Lawton and Vicksburg closed thus far.

      4. Kelly says:

        Kalamazoo Public closed along with any school around it. Almost all schools in Ionia/Eaton counties closed.

        All schools in the great Lansing area (including LANSING PUBLIC) closed.

        Hmmm…shall be interesting.

  9. Watchman Tyler from Jenison/ Ottawa Co. says:

    I just wanted to say this is the kind of storm ive been waiting for it cartainly wasnt a bust here we got (unofficially) maybe a foot and a half here in jenison, and the snow drifts were just insane. There’s about a half 1/2-1″ crack inbetween the bottom of the garage dooor and the ground and there was a nice drift inside the garage, so all in all impressive snowstorm for ME.

    1. Randy (Rockford says:

      No doubt Tyler. This was a great storm. Second biggest 24 snow total in GR history!!! If that is not considered a big storm I will buy sprites for everyone!

      1. Watchman Tyler from Jenison/ Ottawa Co. says:

        diet coke please :)

  10. Mike (Mattawan) says:


    1. slim Jim nw GR (2) says:

      Only if we get a lot more snow and or rain.

    2. INDY says:


      1. Lisa (Caledonia) says:

        Ha ha ha ha. Wow, Indy! You crack me up!

      2. Rebecca says:

        Maybe fixxer has a big boat!

    3. Steelie says:

      Good Day,

      I am on high ground… but seriously, it is a concern…


  11. DF (SE Mich) says:

    8.5″ over here by Ann Arbor. 16″ at GRR, nice!

    1. DF (SE Mich) says:

      We got a bunch of sleet in the middle of the night that kept our total down.

  12. DF (SE Mich) says:

    How did that 2-3 inch prediction come out Rockford residents?……

    1. Randy (Rockford says:

      Well the RDB model said 12 to 16 inches and got 14 inches, so the 2-3 inch prediction was slightly off!

  13. Watchman Tyler from Jenison/ Ottawa Co. says:

    oh where oh where is Fixxxer?

    1. Elizabeth says:

      Poor guy is probably still shoveling…Been thinking about you today Fixxx! No fun to hear about layoffs and then have to work your tail off….

      1. Rebecca says:

        I was praying for you too Fixxer. Hope you were safe today…

    2. slim Jim nw GR (2) says:

      Fixxer got called to Pennsylvania to help clear off the area so the ground hog could come out and not see his shallow. When the hog refused to come out it was Fixxer claiming “spring is just around the corner”
      Just kidding Fix…I like Fixxer comments they are better then some.

  14. No city plow down our NE side street yet, either. No mail was delivered today but I’m looking for a certain delivery, so I hope the mail comes tomorrow. For that to happen, the street has to be plowed. Sometimes we get plowed quickly, sometimes it takes forever. The city isn’t consistent.

    1. slim Jim nw GR (2) says:

      Generally my street is plowed the same day as the storm. But not this time.

      1. slim Jim nw GR (2) says:

        Of course if we only had an inch or two they would have plowed it right a way.

        1. Barb says:

          Mine was plowed by 10 a.m.

  15. Cort S. (Holland) says:

    People were wondering how many hits was getting yesterday.

    The performance issues were linked to “unprecedented demand” on the site’s infrastructure, according to Carey. On Tuesday afternoon, the site was getting 15-20 million hits per hour.

    “The traffic was beyond the capacity we have in place. [It] exceeded the week of Snowmageddon.” {Washington DC, February 2010}

    The NWS website received 2 billion page views during the week of Snowmageddon, according to Carey. On an average day, he said the website receives an average of about 70 million page views.

    Source: Washington Post

  16. lisa says:

    still no plow

    1. Rick (Coopersville) says:

      Now that is crazy!!!! I love it thunder snow is very rare!!!! Jim was like a kid in a candy store with that.

      1. Melissa (Grand Haven) says:

        you know he wanted to use “other” words..LOL that is awesome! Wish we would have had something like that on the lakeshore last night!

        1. Chuck R. in Paw Paw says:

          Translated, the lightning meant “Cantore, get the @#*$ out of my street.” Or maybe the weather gods were on steroids, take your pick.

  17. Mike M. says:

    We found Fixxxer…

    The dog thinks he’s trying to get out of work with the old fake heart attack schtick.

    1. INDY says:

      c’om e on I have only 2 ribs left hhahahaahaalololololoo!!! INDY!!

      1. Rebecca says:

        That was hilarious! Fixxer, you had better let us all know you are still out there…

        1. Chuck R. in Paw Paw says:

          Funny, I didn’t know his real name was Fred Sanford.

  18. Larry of Hastings/Barry Co. says:

    When is the next big snow storm?

    1. Rob Dale says:

      I’d lay odds on that coming in the winter, maybe early spring time frame?

      1. james in hastings says:

        it’s Michigan Rob, you forgot Summer and Fall. Anything is possibly here. LOL

      2. You were spot on – 12″… many flurries in an inch? Times it by 16, fixxxer!!!

      3. lisa says:

        it has been a couple of years since we had a march ice storm…

    2. Soccer6713 says:

      Don’t know about BIG but Monday is sounding interesting.

    3. INDY says:


  19. Melissa (Grand Haven) says:

    just wanted to say thanks to you Bill and your entire team at woodtv – your coverage of this storm, staying on top of it all was absolutely awesome and totally appreciated! I finally had to turn off the computer at 3am but loved following everyones comments, listening to you and the team. I hope you finally got some sleep!
    Thanks again!!

    1. Deb and Cal Posthuma says:

      Thumbs on that one…watched them tell old stories in between shoveling and blowing the fluff !!..Thanks for keeping us posted Bill and your team at the station.

      The road crews in Coopersville were great as well. Roger and his crew put in long hours trying to get roads cleared up. My neighbors and I both thank Coopersville team. Hugz to all of you as well.

  20. Nice job Storm Team 8! Love the group shot of the 5 of you, also! Fun times!
    On a side note – DeWitt Schools are closed again tomorrow – however – City Hall will be open!

  21. sara (grandville) says:

    hey. will schools be closed again tomorrow?

    1. Watchman Tyler from Jenison/ Ottawa Co. says:

      some could

      1. sara (grandville) says:

        what are the chances of grandville schools being closed?!?

        1. Watchman Tyler from Jenison/ Ottawa Co. says:

          Most schools will be back open tomorrow

    2. Watchman Tyler from Jenison/ Ottawa Co. says:

      well how old are you and where do you go to school?

      1. sara (grandville) says:


        1. Watchman Tyler from Jenison/ Ottawa Co. says:


        2. sara (grandville) says:


        3. Watchman Tyler from Jenison/ Ottawa Co. says:

          yeah most schools will be open tomorrow i would think

      2. Jason says:

        Tyler im curious why you always ask age and what school?

        1. Watchman Tyler from Jenison/ Ottawa Co. says:

          i honestly have no idea

        2. Watchman Tyler from Jenison/ Ottawa Co. says:

          you know also some schools are in rural areas

        3. Watchman Tyler from Jenison/ Ottawa Co. says:

          I would never try to stalk people on here, thats just sick and wrong, people that do that have no lives, I do have a girlfriend, and Bill also knows im not a stalker

        4. Rebecca says:

          Then you might want to stop asking age and school. My eyebrows went up at that question too.

  22. Dan says:

    Round 2 for Monday night? I still need to finish clearing all the snow from last night’s BLIZZARD. Bring it on!

    1. Watchman Tyler from Jenison/ Ottawa Co. says:

      only 1-4/2-4″ monday

  23. Curt says:

    Thanks Bill for all your hard work…..I know you always do your best.
    I have lived in Byron Center for 44 years……my entire life….going for a walk this afternoon was the most beautiful day of them all!
    Thank you God for for this gift…..

  24. Haanstar says:

    Thank you Bill and Kyle. Good job on the coverage and forecast

  25. Bedhead says:

    I wonder if Cedar Springs will be closed since Greenville has already called it. Hmm.

    1. Rebeka (Rockford) says:

      What are the roads like up in Cedar Springs? How much snow did you get?

  26. Ben S says:

    Not sure what to do with all the snow in your driveway? I just made snowcream with my kids. Mmmm… it was great.

    1. Northviewmom says:

      COOL! I am so doing this with my kids today :)

  27. lisa says:

    kids’ school may be open tomorrow but we are still snowed in…

    1. Watchman Tyler from Jenison/ Ottawa Co. says:

      My former school district just closed again for tomorrow

      1. lisa says:

        j-town? i noticed they are closed…weird my mom’s been plowed already and shes on a dead end street out there

      2. Entertained says:

        guess you were totally wrong about “most schools” being open!

    2. Steven (Hudsonville) says:

      What district?

  28. Kevin (Marshall) says:

    Around 12″ fell just south of Marshall (storm total)

  29. Mike (Mattawan) says:

    wow, lots of closings! GRAnD RAPIDS PUBLIC is even closed! that is really suprising to me.

    1. slim Jim nw GR (2) says:

      Side roads and streets are not plowed yet so no surprise here.

      1. Mike (Mattawan) says:

        well, i havent been on the roads yet, i guess im suprised cause my road is a road that is not plowed much… and it has been plowed. So… i guess i was just thinking roads were decent. But apparently not with all the closings.

  30. lisa says:

    forest hills not closed yet but my friend is here plowing my gr CITY street so we can get out in the morning

    1. slim Jim nw GR (2) says:

      Not plowd yet on the NW side have him come over here so we can get out only 4X4 can get my street.

      1. lisa says:

        i wish i could but he may be cleaning out everyone’s driveway on the street because hes a nice guy.

  31. brandon noppe says:


  32. Brian says:

    I have to agree with you Bill the 1978 blizzard was definitely worse. It had more snow and a lot more wind associated with it. With that being said they could be singing a different tune in the Chicago area where they had over a foot and half of snow and 70 mph gust. That would be very comparable to the 1978 snow storm.

  33. Vincent(N.E.Kent CO) says:

    What a storm. The winds sounded really loud in the woods behind the house. Could’nt see 100ft at times. Lost power at 12:46am till 11:30am. Sunk the ATV plowing at 4am and pulled er out with the truck and parked it. Tried it again after a 5 hr nap and it took 3hrs to open driveway. Im whooped. Going to get some nice pics tommorow. It was the 2nd best storm i’ve ever seen. 78 was #1.

  34. Matt (Norton Shores) says:

    Getting some decent lake effect snow now….still not sick of it. :) :) :)

  35. levi brandsen says:

    Does anyone have pictures of Holland State park after or during the Winter Storm?

  36. Jim S.(Saugatuck Twp) says:

    Interesting comparison coming up on woodtv at 11 discussing the 78 blizzard. Although this was a monster, 131 between K-zoo and GR was closed for 5 days…and they mentioned the dozens of people who dies in their cars. There is a good reason to hype up storms, as most people stayed home for this one.

    By the way, took multiple measurements here…averaged about 15″.

    1. Rob Dale says:

      Hyping up a storm is a horrible idea… Anyone who compared this to ’78 ahead of time was doing a disservice, because next time — nobody listens.

      The NWS told 30,000 people who chose to stay in Galveston that they WOULD DIE if they didn’t evacuate ahead of Ike. 29,950 of them survived. What do you think will happen next time the NWS tells them they will die if they don’t leave?

      1. Jesse(Hudsonville/beaverdam) says:

        So….you are saying that no-one in Galveston cared that 50 people lost their lives? Sounds like there would have been 50 more survivors if they would have all listened.

        1. Rebecca says:

          My thoughts exactly!

        2. Rob Dale says:

          I guess I’m not sure what you’re saying… Those 50 (and the other 29950) should have evacuated. But don’t tell them “YOU WILL DIE IF YOU DON’T LEAVE” because now 29,950 people know that’s not likely to happen.

          Doing the math – they had a 99.8% chance of living through the event, even though it was told they would certainly die.

          So next time when a storm stronger than Ike comes in, how would you convey that? “No, this time we really mean it, you really really will die”?

          That’s why hype is bad. Give the facts as best you know them, and help people decide, but don’t hype.

        3. Jim S.(Saugatuck Twp) says:

          But if they didn’t convey that message….instead of 30,000 sticking around….300,000 stick around, and the death toll would have been much higher.

        4. Rob Dale says:

          No, this was after most people had evacuated. EMA office estimated that 30,000 still remained so they issued the “certain death” message.

          And 99% most certainly did not die.

      2. Jim S.(Saugatuck Twp) says:

        I don’t recall anyone from the NWS or on TV saying this was going to be a repeat of 78. There were plenty on this blog who mentioned that.

        Don’t get your point about Galveston. I suppose you are saying lets not get thousands of people worked up….as long as only a few casualties are the result. I’d take a bunch of upset people complaining about an overhyped storm over any casualties.

  37. Lester Tesmer says:

    21 inches of snow in my driveway in Zeeland ,Mi

  38. Ben S says:

    Light snow is falling in Holland. Less than a quarter inch at this point.

  39. beth says:

    hi bill,
    i think you and your team did a wonderful job but i’m wondering why holland does not get a mention here as we’ve had more snow than muskegon, right? seems like we often get overlooked by woodtv.
    thanks for your hard work!

    1. Matt (Norton Shores) says:

      ??? You haven’t had more snow than Muskegon.

  40. Jesse(Hudsonville/beaverdam) says: This would be a whopper! it’s only 13 days away on the GFS though! haha :)

    1. Jesse(Hudsonville/beaverdam) says:

      It’s just a joke folks! Just thought i would verify that before i start recieving insults here! It’s on the GFS model but it’s pretty irrelevant that far out

      1. Toro says:

        You mean this?

        I can’t wait! The GFS reliability outside 10 days is 100%. It is fun to think about though!

        1. Toro says:

          Also, I don’t pretend to understand the models, but I think that would be mostly rain, and would cause major flooding with all the snow in the ground.

        2. Dan says:

          Don’t know how much stock you can place in this as it is a ways out! We will have to watch carefully as the we get closer to the time frame. Wouldn’t it be interesting to get Walloped again? Since, Winter kind of took its time to get going, it wouldn’t surprise me if this happened. Just to clarify, I’m not saying it will happen.

  41. LightningWatcher says:


    The Daily Poll had for an option, “Hey Spring Training is Just Weeks Away.”. Is it normal for you to think that they’re talking about SkyWarning Training?

  42. LightningWatcher says:

    Oh snap, SkyWarn training no SkyWarning…

  43. Jevon Murphy (Chicago) says:

    Yea, if were to play out, that storm on the GFS that TORO and Jesse showed would play out to be mainly a rain producer and there would be major flooding around, however, we have so much snow on the ground in the U.S. and cold air in the U.S., that I think that it would be awful hard to warm the air enough to get rain, or at least a lot of it! there may be enough cold air and snow aroud to produce snow, but it is too early to look at this storm!

  44. Tom in Alger Heights says:

    OK…blizzard wrapup from Alger Heights. We received 12-14 inches during the storm. Took a while to find an area that was not affected by the wind. Which, oddly enough, was on the street. Got the driveway completely cleared this morning. After living on the lakeshore for so many years, experience has taught me that you have to clear the drive right to the edges or you will begin to lose your drive. The plow(s) went through twice overnight. They did their best to destroy the work I did yesterday, but they failed!!! A man and his shovel beat the almighty plow. It appears that we’ve lost about 4-6 feet on the width of the street. Need to clear out the fire hydrant across the street this afternoon to complete the clean up. Live from Alger Heights

  45. fixxxer says:

    snow = BLAH!

    1. Todd in Nunica says:

      Fix I feel for ya man after that one, while I did not have time to clear sidewalks while the storm was going on, I spend 5 hrs last night axing my way through 4′ drifts covering sidewalks. All that after spending the previous 26 hrs in the truck….

  46. northside of holland says:

    HATS OFF to the road crews for clearing up the main roads in Holland .:-)

    1. Momof9 says:

      The sun is better at clearing roads and more energy efficient.

  47. Travis Ulberg (W of Martin, Allegan County) says:

    Well I’m not sure how much snow we ended up with because I don’t have any spot to even measure. This is the most snow we have had since the 90′s! Our snow piles are maybe the biggest they have ever been in our driveway since it drifts over bad with a E/NE wind. The pathway from our garage to our barn is from knee how at it’s lowest spot to chest high! We went snowmobiling yesterday after 1pm and our road hadn’t been plowed and it was impassible with 5′ drifts all the way across it! I have never seen our road so buried before. We had a 35″ drift that covered 2/3 of our driveway and it took us over 3 hours to shovel it! We had a drift about 5′ in between our stacked wood piles.

  48. Soccer6713 says:

    Bill, I appreciated that Wood TV 8 stayed on live yesterday morning instead of going to the Today Show. My husband had to come home from work in that mess and I was able to call him before he left to tell him what was being reported. It was great to see all the “Breaking News” alerts and keep up on what was happening instead of feeling like we were left hanging from 7:00 to noon. I know some people get tired of all the “drama” and want to watch their regular programming but I for one appreciate all you do.

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