A winter storm is heading for the Mitten State Wednesday through Friday and Michigan State Police are urging southern Lower Peninsula residents to be prepared.

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Multiple types of precipitation could create hazardous and quickly-changing driving conditions.

The National Weather Service is predicting heavy rain starting Wednesday afternoon that could lead to ice jams and possible flooding.

There is a Wind Advisory in much of West Michigan 10a.m. to 7p.m. Wednesday. Wind gusts of up to 45 mph may cause some isolated power outages.

As the rain changes over to snow Thursday, expect freezing rain, sleet and then snow. Some areas of southern lower Michigan could see a tenth of an inch of ice, as well as 6 inches or more of sleet and snow.

To help Michigan residents stay safe, MSP is offering the below driving tips:

Driving tips during heavy rain:

  • Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars causing loss of control. A foot of water will float many vehicles. Remember: Turn around, don’t drown.
  • Do not attempt to drive through a flooded road. The depth of water is not always obvious. The roadbed may be washed out under the water, and you could be stranded or trapped.
  • Do not drive around a barricade. Barricades are there for your protection. Turn around and go the other way.
  • Be especially cautious driving at night when it is harder to recognize flood dangers.

Driving tips during winter weather:

  • Check the weather before leaving for a destination. If the weather forecast looks dangerous, reschedule or postpone the driving trip, if possible.
  • DO NOT crowd snowplows. Give snowplow drivers plenty of room to clear snow from the roads.
  • Keep tires at the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended pressure and routinely check tire pressure during cold weather.
  • Make sure the windshield solvent reservoir is full and check the condition of all wiper blades and replace when necessary.
  • Wash your vehicle for better visibility to other drivers. Remove ice and snow from all lights, windows and license plate before driving.
  • Periodically check all lights and replace when necessary.
  • Keep an emergency preparedness kit in your vehicle stocked with batteries, battery powered or hand-crank radio, flashlight, windshield scraper, jumper cables, shovel, blankets, first aid kit, non-perishable food and bottled water in the event you get stranded or stuck.

You can find more information on staying safe during winter weather here.

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