WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY, WINTER STORM WATCH

SATURDAY EVENING THROUGH EARLY MONDAY

The National Weather Service has issued a WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY for all of West Michigan except counties along the Michigan-Indiana border, effective from 7 pm Saturday until 6 am Monday. A strong storm will be crossing the Ohio Valley Sunday, bringing snow to West Michigan, with some areas perhaps seeing as much as 10" of accumulation. Snowfall will be heaviest south as opposed to north, so along/south of I-94 is where the highest accumulations are expected. However, Allegan, Barry and Eaton counties could see between 4-7", and between 3 and 5" could fall along a line from Holland to Grand Rapids to Lansing. Additionally, gusty winds will be blowing the snow quite a bit, causing drifting on roads along with poor visibility. Travel is discouraged from late Saturday night through Sunday night.

The National Weather Service has issued a WINTER STORM WATCHfor the following counties in West Michigan, effective from 7 pm Saturday until 10 pm Sunday: Berrien, Cass, St.Joseph, Branch, and Hillsdale. A strong winter storm moving into/across the Ohio Valley will bring periods of heavy snow to the Watch area, beginning late tonight and extending through at least Sunday evening. Forecast models indicate between 7 and 10" of accumulation are possible. Additionally, strong winds will cause blowing and drifting snow. Driving conditions will be hazardous Sunday. Travel is not encouraged.

Stay with Newschannel 3 and wwmt.com for the latest updates.

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Home builders optimistic as the housing market recovers

Updated: Thursday, March 7 2013, 07:26 AM EST
Home builders optimistic as the housing market recovers  story image
WEST MICHIGAN (NEWSCHANNEL 3) – The housing market has been making a coming back and realtors and homebuilders say you haven’t seen anything yet. They’re expecting a banner year.

Scott DeLoof’s family has been in the home-building business for three generations, but he’s expecting this year to be his best since at least 2008.

“We’ve had a lot of phone calls, our office is hopping,” said DeLoof of DeLoof Builders. “I’m just feeling a real buzz here in Kalamazoo.”

Statewide, the Michigan Home Builders Association is projecting about a 40 percent increase in new home construction. In Kalamazoo it’s a bit more modest.

“I think you’re going to see a ten to fifteen percent growth in this area,” said Dale Shugars, Home Builders Association of Greater Kalamazoo.

That still means that DeLoof is expecting big business.

“Oh I’m sure we’ll be up about, I would say 30 to 40 percent in sales,” said DeLoof.

He also says that increase will create jobs, both at his and other companies.

“There’s a guy on a forklift, we have the driver, the supplier that brought the lumber to the lumber yard and all that down the line,” said DeLoof.

Which is exactly what the home builders association says is needed.

“The reality is people need to be working in order to buy homes,” said Bob Filka, CEO Michigan Home Builders Association.

The association says it expects builders to construct about 14,000 new homes this year, an improvement, but a far cry from peak levels of about 50,000 a year.

“We probably won’t see for another decade the kind of production we saw in the early 2000s,” said Filka.

However, they are quick to point out that this is a promising rebound, and one that builders are excited about.

“I’m feeling very optimistic,” said DeLoof. “I think it’s gonna be a great year.” Home builders optimistic as the housing market recovers
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