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Emergency crews brace for weekend storm

WEST MICHIGAN (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Emergency crews in West Michigan are gearing up to prepare for a potential major winter storm.

The problems Friday were mostly in our northern counties, in the Grand Rapids and Muskegon areas, with icy conditions making for dangerous roads.

This weekend, however, it looks like those issues could be more widespread.

Most agencies in West Michigan are aware of the potential of any storm Saturday and over the weekend, especially with the possibility of ice or freezing rain.

Most have extra help on-call waiting, and roads that don't look so bad tonight could be trouble areas tomorrow.

Consumers Energy says ice can cause great damage to its distribution center.

Mother nature appears set to deliver a bag of coal just five days before Christmas, with a mix of rain, snow, and ice, coating the roads, making for treacherous driving conditions.

The Michigan Department of Transportation says 90 plows could be in service across nine counties if the weather hits hard.

But if the temperature drops below 20 degrees, salt is not effective.

As for I-94, M-DOT says its vehicles will drive in reverse, salting the road ahead of them for traction if need be.

State Police are also sending out warnings, and while the state's emergency operations center has not been activated yet, staff remains on high alert.

In a statement, the Deputy Director of Emergency Management said, "We continue to monitor weather conditions and remain in contact with local emergency management personnel to provide assistance as needed."

All agencies will have their eyes on the radar this weekend.

As it's rained most of the day Friday, road crews are not pre-treating roads.

It doesn't work when wet outside.

Rain has also been washing away any salt.