Michigan deep freeze keeps people inside for 2nd day

 By Jeff Karoub

Associated Press
 
DETROIT (AP) — Faced with another day of bitter-cold temperatures that kept many Michigan schools, businesses and government offices shuttered for a second straight day, some residents donned layer upon layer to brave the elements out of necessity or simple curiosity.
 
With record-low temperatures recorded in some parts of the state and wind chills that made it feel as though it were 30 to 40 degrees below zero in places, emergency officials warned people to stay indoors Tuesday if at all possible.

Many people appeared to have heeded the warnings, as snowy sidewalks in many cities remained largely deserted. Parts of Detroit were an industrial-Arctic landscape early Tuesday, with wind-pushed discharge from a smokestack floating parallel to steam from the Detroit River, which separates the city from Windsor, Ontario.

The Detroit People Mover shut down due to extreme cold and low wind chill temperatures. Transportation officials said Tuesday morning that operations of the 13-stop, 2.9-mile downtown elevated train loop were suspended until further notice.

The severe cold, icy roads and blowing snow kept driving hazardous, and the State Emergency Operations Center remained partially activated to monitor conditions.

AAA Michigan said it helped at least 2,200 motorists affected by the snow and in the first half of Tuesday. The Dearborn-based auto club handled 5,800 calls during a 24-hour period Monday.

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.

Tuesday temperatures hovered around zero degrees in Grand Rapids and reportedly sunk to 11 below zero in Lansing.

Freezing temperatures and heavy snowfall 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 reported temperature in Michigan Tuesday morning was 20 degrees below zero in Ironwood, where Crupi said wind chill temperatures Monday sunk as low as 55 degrees below zero.

“It’s fairly unusual that we get wind chills that low, even up here,” Crupi said.

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