SOUTH BEND — A heavy dose of wicked winter weather has its grip on the area, and as the snow continues to pile up, local roads are going from bad to worse. It also appears the first dose of winter weather in 2010 will continue through the weekend. Emergency crews dealt with dozens of slide-offs and fender-benders all day Friday, and several stretches of Interstate-94 in Berrien County had to be shut down because of whiteout conditions. In many areas, the new year kicked off with the sounds of "digging out." Alvin Meridy was one of those providing the noise, courtesy of a shovel in his South Bend driveway. He began the new year began with a trip outside to shovel. 12 hours later, he was at it again. "And, I know I'm going to have to do it again," Meridy laughed. "But this way I can prevent it from continuing to pile up. [I'm] trying to stay ahead of it." Meanwhile, for emergency responders, pile-ups were the things, well, piling up across the area. One driver in Granger actually went up straight into the air after sliding off of Fir Road near Brick Road, and hitting a set of guy wires holding up a nearby telephone pole. "I put on the brakes, and my car immediately broke into a slide," said the driver, who asked not to be identified. "I turned off the road to avoid the car in front of me, and I saw the cables, and figured I'd bump into the cables and bounce back. And, the next thing I know, I'm looking up in the sky." Firefighters quickly stabilized the SUV using a series of blocks and jacks, and brought in ladders to get the driver and his wife out. "We stabilized the vehicle and laddered it so we could get them out, and they were not injured," said Clay-Harris Fire Territory Battalion Chief Ron Brentlinger. "We've haven't seen anything like this in quite a while." That driver's high wire act was just one example of what police dealt with all day Friday, as they pleaded with drivers to stay off the roads and slow down if travel was absolutely necessary. Many who didn't heed that advice ended up calling on the services of tow truck drivers like Jerry Teeter. "We've seen a lot of slide-offs and a lot of wrecks," Teeter said. He saw them all night, too. "[Friday morning] they called me out at about 1:20. I got home about 8 o'clock this morning. Then, I got a few hours sleep, and we're back at it," Teeter said late Friday afternoon. It's not likely that hectic schedule will ease up anytime soon, with more lake-effect snow forecast through the weekend. "[I expect] very little sleep over the next few days, but, I don't mind," laughed Teeter. "It's business." "It's not so bad," agreed Meridy. "I'm getting a little exercise, and I like the snow. I'm just trying to take care of it before it all comes down."