Prepping ahead of first Michiana winter storm 

NOW: Prepping ahead of first Michiana winter storm 

NILES TOWNSHIP, Mich.-- As Michiana faces its first winter storm, business owners salt out front for customers, and drivers load up on fuel.

"I already went to the store this morning and got what I needed, now I'm just going to go home and stay in the house," said Niles resident Larry Myrkle.

Michigan State Police are increasing patrols all weekend, waiting for the inevitable slide-offs and accidents.

"You know, you can go places, it's just, you need to slow down," said MSP Trooper Andrew Ruch.

Ruch says to limit errands this weekend, and only drive if you absolutely need to.

"You can't go the speed limit in weather like this, you need to go under it," he said.

As rain and snow pound the pavement ahead of a major cold blast, salt trucks and plows start making their rounds.

"We've just been kind of sitting on the sidelines, waiting for the coach to throw us in the game. And mother nature came to play, here we are," said MDOT spokesperson, Nick Schirripa. 

MDOT is deploying 24-hour road crews all weekend.

"And if you do encounter one of our plows or any other plow on the road," Schirripa said, "understand that these are big, heavy machines. They take longer to start, longer to stop, and longer to turn. They're going to be moving slower, give them plenty of room, and there's really nowhere safer than a few hundred yards behind a plow to be."

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