Metro Detroit gets hammered with snow, it's paczki day, Beaumont Health cancels vaccine appointments

Snowfall reaching double-digits, wind gusts pushing temperatures to 0, a Winter Storm Warning in effect until midday Tuesday - what more could you ask for from a Michigan snowstorm?

Because that's exactly what covered Metro Detroit throughout the night Tuesday. National Weather Service forecasts updated early Tuesday morning increased expected snowfall totals.

Meanwhile, freezing temperatures aided by windy conditions will make clearing roads in Michigan's most populated region difficult.

Snowfall totals

So far, the highest totals reached around 10 inches, although much of those estimates were reported south of Detroit in Monroe County. 

The storm that swept over the region last night arrived from the south after causing chaos in Texas and Oklahoma. The reason why more snow is falling this time is because of the added moisture being brought along with the system. It's also why cities further south are going to be measuring more snow.

Don't think mother nature is sparing any municipalities further north, however. 

In Detroit and southern Wayne County, about 9 inches is expected. Estimates are slightly smaller in Pontiac, Ann Arbor, and Port Huron. The strength of the weather system is isolated to communities from the Detroit River and about 20 miles inland. Counties further north and to the west were under winter weather advisories as of 7 a.m. 

The snow is expected to stop falling by noon. The Winter Storm Warning will end shortly after that.

Wind and Temperature hazards

People need only look outside to see the direction the snow is falling to know that wind was playing a key factor in the morning's inclement weather. Wind gusts between 20-30 miles were recorded in the region. That means two things - wind chill dropping temperatures and more chance of snowdrift.

Tuesday's low will be about 14 degrees with a wind chill closer to -3. Temperatures are expected to rebound after that but don't count on too much relief before midday. 

Both the cold conditions and the drift will make snow removal tricky during the early stages of the day. The salt that road crews drop isn't as effective when temperatures are too cold, so for now residents will have to rely on plows only.

"We had this problem last night and we’ll probably have it again tonight, when the temperatures get down to the single digits, the salt really doesn’t do very much even though we mix it with liquid brine which lowers the active level a little bit," said Craig Bryson, Oakland County Road Commission. "When you’re in the single digits it’s pretty ineffective.

The drift will also push snow around quite a bit, so recently-plowed streets may have snow on them a short while later. 

Extra snow means extra help

It takes a special kind of weather to prompt the call for reinforcements. Tuesday is that day. 

Private crews that only come out for really heavys snowfalls will assist the city of Detroit with more than 1,880 miles of streets on Tuesday. Dubbed the A-Team Snow Removal, it's the kinds of mornings that plowers like Dominick Grillo dream of.

"Until you drop a blade and know what it's like pushing snow, it's something people live for," he said Monday. "It's definitely what I got in my blood."

A-Team Snow Removal usually gets the call whenever Detroit is expected to get more than six inches of snow from a single storm. 

The crews work in 6-hour shifts. This time around, they started at midnight, shortly after the snow began falling. The next team comes in around 6 a.m., and then more people arrive around noon.

"Altogether, we'll be working pretty much for the next 36 hours."

The city of Detroit still has more than 600 miles of main city corridors it'll have to maintain. Grillo and his team man the sidestreets. 

Fat Tuesday is here, and so is the paczki

The unofficial pastry of February Tuesdays everywhere has returned this Fat Tuesday, which means long lines for sweet treats in Hamtramck.

Each year for decades, bakeries in the small polish community break out the dough and filling to create one of the area's best-known traditions: the Paczki.

At Martha Washington Bakery on Joseph Campau and Caniff, it's a family affair. "Me, my sisters, family, friends, husband, children - my parents are still active," said Sandy Bakic. "They're in their 80's and they're still active."

This year, extra precautions have been taken to accommodate the pandemic restrictions. That means would-be pastry purchasers will still be standing for a while to get some treats - they just might be doing the waiting outside.

Detroit Pit Crew saves abandoned dog in blighted home

Just hours before Detroit's biggest snowfall this year, the Detroit Pit Crew rescued an abandoned dog that had sheltered inside a derelict house on the city's east side.

Shortly following a note from a FOX 2 viewer, the animal rescue operation arrived at a home Monday afternoon where a dog had been photographed in the basement of a dilapidated home. Amid concerns the house could collapse, Detroit Pit Crew contacted the fire department for help.

"My feet and hands are frozen right now, I don't know how this dog was surviving," said Andre Jones, Detroit Pit Crew volunteer. "(There was) debris on the ground everywhere, water frozen, it was terrible. I don’t think he would have made it another night." 

Soon after an Akita mix emerged from the home. The dog is in okay shape and will have a tumor in his mouth checked out by a veterinarian. The rescuers decided to name the homeless animal Blaze. 

Beaumont cancels 1,884 2nd dose appointments

Detroit-area hospital system has canceled 1,884 appointments for second doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine because it didn't receive enough from the state.

Beaumont Health said Monday that it learned Friday of a significant reduction in its vaccine allocation.

The appointments had been scheduled for Thursday. Beaumont Health said it was working to automatically reschedule them to a week later at the previous times if it receives enough vaccines.

"Our teams worked around the clock and throughout the weekend with the state to try and secure the second dose vaccine we requested," said Carolyn Wilson, chief operating officer for the eight-hospital system.

- The Associated Press contributed to this report

What else we're watching

  1. Tuesday brought snow day conditions with it. See if your district is planning on holding class in-person or online here. 
  2. A domestic situation between a couple escalated to a barricaded gunman situation in west Detroit. SWAT teams left around 5 a.m.
  3. Fast-food workers in Detroit are planning on going on strike for better pay as Congress prepares to vote on a $15 minimum wage hike.
  4. A new special enrollment period for getting health insurance just opened this week. People can apply for coverage from now until May 15.
  5. U.S. Reps Peter Meijer and Elissa Slotkin are hosting a cross-state townhall to discuss national security issues. Both have military backgrounds. The virtual event will be moderated by the dean of U-M's Ford School of Public Policy

Live on FOX 2

Daily Forecast

There won't be much downtown after Metro Detroit's big burst of snow Tuesday morning as more is expected tonight. Temperatures will drop as low as -4 degrees tonight. Expect freezing conditions through at least the week.

3 in 4 Republicans want Trump to play prominent role in GOP, survey finds

A new poll shows that 3 in 4 Republicans would like to see former President Donald Trump play a prominent role in the GOP.

The Quinnipiac University poll was released Monday, two days after the U.S. Senate voted to acquit Trump in a second impeachment trial.

The national poll of 1,056 adults found that 96% of Democrats say they do not want to see Trump playing a prominent role in the Republican party.

The poll found that 55% of Americans say Trump should not be allowed to hold elected office in the future but 87% of Republicans say he should be allowed.

"He may be down, but he is certainly not out of favor with the GOP," said Quinnipiac University Polling Analyst Tim Malloy.