As many of you may know, a blizzard warning is in effect for southeast Michigan starting tonight at 7 p.m. until 7 p.m. Wednesday.Here is what the Detroit Free Press has to say about it:
The massive storm forecasted is expected to dump 10-15 inches of snow on metro Detroit, National Weather Service meteorologist Matt Mosteiko said.
Coming with the heavy snow will be strong gusty winds, blowing and drifting, and white-out conditions with visibilities of one-quarter of a mile or less that will make for dangerous travel, he said.
Light snow will fall during the day and then ramp up at 7 p.m. tonight. The heaviest snow will come from 7 p.m. tonight until 7 a.m. Wednesday, Mosteiko said. Snowfall rates will average between 1 to 2 inches per hour during that time.
Here's a quick guide to coping with the storm.
QUESTION: What should I do to prepare?
ANSWER: Michigan State Police say residents should make sure they have enough food and water for 72 hours and materials for possible power outages -- a flashlight, extra batteries, blankets, candles and the like. Stay inside if you can. For more, go to www.ready.gov.
Q: What should drivers do?
A: Top off your windshield wiper fluid, and fill up the tank. Put together an emergency kit in your trunk with an extra coat, boots and other winter clothing, a flashlight, a first aid kit, jumper cables, kitty litter to create traction if your wheels are spinning, road flares and a snack. If you get stranded, stay in your vehicle until help arrives.
Q: May airline passengers change tickets without penalty?
A: Yes. Delta Air Lines has issued the mother of all weather waivers for travelers. Anyone set to fly today through Friday can without penalty or fee change their flight date to anytime through Feb. 8. Other airlines issued similar waivers.
The catch to Delta's airline weather waiver is that although the change fee of $150 is waived, passengers who can't get the same fare class on another flight may be charged the difference in the fares, which can be substantial.
Q: Can Detroit Metro Airport handle the snow?
A: Yes, but it depends on how fast it falls, said spokesman Scott Wintner. Because Metro Airport has four parallel runways, it usually can keep at least two open at all times, even in storms. "But there comes a point where the snow simply falls too fast for us to clear it and for a plane to land before it piles up again," he said.
Q: What happens if my flight is canceled?
A: The airline automatically will rebook you. Make sure you have given them your e-mail address or phone number so they can alert you of the change. Most flights are being cancelled at least 3 hours ahead.
Q: How can I check whether airports around the country are open?
A: Check www.fly.faa.gov. The map shows conditions at airports around the country.
Q: What about buses and trains?
A: Greyhound bus lines could be delayed if local road conditions get bad and because of delays in other areas. To check, go to www.greyhound.com or call 800-231-2222. Spokeswoman Bonnie Bastian said bus tickets can be used at later dates. Passengers who face cancellations while they're en route are offered warm places to sleep and food and beverages as needed in stations or on buses, Bastian said.
Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari said the passenger rail service planned normal operations. To check for delays, go to www.amtrak.com or call 800-872-7245.
Q: Will this storm break records?
A: No. The record is 24.5 inches on April 6, 1886.