Michigan State Police is encouraging residents to prepare in advance of severe weather expected to impact central and northern Michigan this weekend.
A Winter Storm Watch has been issued for Bay, Clinton, Huron, Ionia, Kent, Midland, Saginaw, Tuscola and Sanilac counties. Snow, strong winds and freezing rain are predicted for the central and northern regions of the lower Peninsula.
A foot or more of snow is possible across the northern lower and southern upper peninsulas. These conditions may cause power outages and dangerous traveling conditions.
"The protection of public health and safety is our primary concern," said Capt. Chris A. Kelenske, Deputy State Director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and commander of the MSP/EMHSD.
Preparations for sever weather include charging cell phones and other devices in case power is interrupted, evaluating whether driving is necessary, allowing more time for travel if you choose to drive and creating emergency kits for your car and home.
Police say ice accumulation is a serious threat to power lines.