Temperatures drop to record lows in Michigan - New York News

Temperatures drop to record lows in Michigan

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EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Temperatures broke record lows Tuesday in Michigan and residents braced against bitter winds following a multiday storm that shuttered schools, closed government offices and contributed to at least six deaths.

Lows of 14 degrees below zero were reported Monday and early Tuesday at Detroit Metropolitan Airport in Romulus as well as in Flint, according to the National Weather Service. The previous record low for Jan. 7 was minus 5 at the airport in 1942 and minus 10 at Flint in 1986.

For Jan. 6, the previous record low for Detroit was minus 7 in 1924 and for Flint was minus 5 in 1945.

The wind made it feel as if it was 30 to 40 degrees below zero, the weather service said. Roads were icy, and blowing snow made driving hazardous. The State Emergency Operations Center remained partially activated to monitor conditions.

"The protection of the public health and safety of the citizens is our primary concern," Capt. Chris A. Kelenske, Deputy State Director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, said in a statement.

On Tuesday, temperatures hovered around zero in Grand Rapids and were reported at 11 degrees below zero in Lansing.

Freezing winter temperatures and big snowfalls are common in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, but meteorologist Kevin Crupi with the weather service's Marquette-area office said Monday's low of 17 below zero tied the previous record low for Jan. 6 set in 1968.

The lowest temperature reported Tuesday morning in Michigan was 20 degrees below zero in Ironwood, where Crupi said wind chill temperatures Monday came in as low as 55 degrees below zero.

"It's fairly unusual that we get wind chills that low, even up here," Crupi said Tuesday morning.

The extreme cold follows heavy snow that started Saturday or Sunday, depending on the area. The weather service reported 18.7 inches of snow northwest in Owosso and 10.6 inches at Detroit Metropolitan Airport in Romulus.

Another 1 to 3 inches of snow possible in the southwestern portion of the state on Tuesday.

On Monday afternoon, a car went out of control and slid in front of an oncoming propane tanker in Otsego County's Chester Township in the northern Lower Peninsula, state police said. The car's driver was critically injured and its passenger killed.

Weather was a factor in at least two roadway deaths over the weekend, including a driver in Huron County and a pedestrian in Barry County. Three people also collapsed and died while shoveling snow, officials said.

Many state offices were closed Monday, including those in Lansing. Some schools planned to reopen Tuesday, including Michigan State University in East Lansing, but others decided to stay closed for a second day.

Extra precautions are being put into place, including for the No. 5 Spartans men's basketball game Tuesday night against No. 3 Ohio State. Michigan State students will be allowed inside the Breslin Center an hour earlier than usual, but they won't be allowed to camp out for doors to the arena to open.

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