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Snow piles a growing concern across W. Michigan following deep freeze

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - It's a big question all over West Michigan--where to put all the snow that's being collected and removed, as it isn't yet warm enough to melt away.

Newschannel 3 spoke with the Michigan Department of Transportation Wednesday night, in addition to local leaders about snow removal efforts as West Michigan emerges from the deep freeze.

There's still a number of issues dealing with the snow across West Michigan. For instance, snow piles up at bus stops, a common problem everywhere, it makes it difficult to walk, and sometimes people are forced to stand in the street.

As for the roads, M-DOT says they're still dangerous.

While the cold may be letting up slightly, the danger is far from over.

Wednesday afternoon, Newschannel 3 spotted several people walking in the middle of the road, some with small kids, as cars were still slipping and sliding everywhere around them on the icy streets.

Comstock Township Supervisor Ann Nieuwenhuis said she is concerned about the large mounds of snow piling up, making it extremely difficult for drivers to see.

"If you're sitting in a car and you're looking and you can't see either way, then your piles are too high and you need to do whatever you can to make sure you have clear visibility. It's the property owners responsibility," she said.

Sidewalks are an issue as well. If they aren't shoveled, kids may be forced to stand in the streets with school staring up once again.

In researching this story, Newschannel 3 came upon a Bobcat clearing the sidewalk near a school in Kalamazoo.

As for M-DOT, drivers are strictly concentrating on plowing and chipping away at the ice on the roads.

"The next few days are going to be critical for people to be on their guard, paying attention, knowing that it's not water, it's ice and wait for the temperature to get warm, once it's consistently in the 20's, start putting salt down and then we can start getting that off the roads," said M-DOT Spokesman Nick Schirripa.

M-DOT says four of its snow plows have gotten into accidents with other cars since the storm began.

As for Comstock Township, it's bringing in front-end loaders to remove some of the snow piles.