DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – Temperatures dropped to record lows in Michigan 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. However, the wind made it feel as it was 30 to 40 degrees below zero.
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.
A Wind Chill Advisory, issued by the National Weather Service, remains in effect until 9 a.m. Wednesday for the entire Southeast Michigan area. A Winter Weather Advisory also remains in effect until 10 p.m. Tuesday.
Average temperatures across metro Detroit Tuesday morning were hovering at more than 10 below zero, with a wind chill of minus 35. The lowest temperature reported Tuesday morning in Michigan was 20 degrees below zero in the Upper Peninsula community of Ironwood.
All public schools in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Washtenaw, Livingston, Lapeer and St Clair counties are closed Tuesday. Many colleges are also closed, including Eastern Michigan, Oakland, Wayne State and Western Michigan universities. Michigan State University said it would reopen Tuesday at noon.
The extreme cold follows heavy snow that started Saturday or Sunday, depending on the area. According to the NWS, 10.6 inches of snow fell at Detroit Metropolitan Airport, 18.7 inches in Owosso, 17.1 inches in Flint, 15.9 inches at Howell, 15.5 inches north of Jackson and 15 inches north of Battle Creek.
Hundreds of vehicles also strained to start in the plunging temperatures or spun out from slick roadways into snowy side ditches.
AAA Michigan spokeswoman Nancy Cain said the auto club assisted at least 2,200 motorists slammed by snow and low temperatures. The problems included dead batteries, cars slipping off roads, no gas and people locked out of their vehicles while warming them up.
The storm also shuttered many courts, including bankruptcy court in Detroit. That delayed until next week closing arguments in a hearing on an agreement by Detroit to pay off banks and settle millions of dollars in debt tied to an interest rate swaps deal.
Weather was a factor in at least three roadway deaths. Three people also collapsed and died while shoveling snow.
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