LATEST: Reduce Heat Request & Lansing Snow Emergency Ends At Midnight
UPDATED Thursday at 6:15 p.m.: Consumers Energy says Michiganders will be able to end the voluntary reduction of heat at midnight. MSU returns to normal operations and tonight will be not as cold. Click here for headlines related to extreme cold in Michigan.
Michigan State University in East Lansing will return to normal operations, including classes tomorrow.
Tonight's forecast fom National Weather Service: Wind chills will be better than last night, but still values as low as -25 inland. Lt snow will develop after midnight south of I-96.
UPDATED at 5:00 p.m.
In a Facebook post, Jackson based Consumers Energy said a voluntary reduction of natural gas use will expire. On Thursday, a gas compressor station fire forced the company as well as Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to ask people to turn their thermostat to 65 degrees or lower to save energy. Auto plants closed some shifts to conserve electricity.
UPDATED at 4:45 p.m.:
Lansing mayor Andy Schor will lift the city's Snow Emergency at midnight tonight. City Hall, 54-A District Court and city facilities will open for regular business hours Friday morning.
The number of water mains being patched in Detroit swelled from two dozen Wednesday to 44 on Thursday. And more trouble is expected once the temperature swings by 60 degrees next week, kicking the city's freeze-thaw cycle into hyper drive. Detroit registered a -14 (-25 C) low Wednesday night. A high of 50 degrees (10 C) is expected Monday. Water department Deputy Director Palencia Mobley says wet soil around mains contracts and expands with temperature changes, making the ground and pipes shift and causing breaks.
Detroit's light rail system suspended service due for a few hours due to the extreme cold after streetcar batteries struggled to remain charged. The QLINE reported on Twitter around midday Thursday that service has resumed.
UPDATED at 12:15 p.m.:
Auto plants and other big energy users throughout Southeast Michigan are shutting down or limiting operations due to a natural gas shortage caused by a fire and frigid weather. Eighteen factories and other facilities run by General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler affected Thursday. It's not clear when they'll resume normal operations. The fire hit a Consumers Energy natural gas compressor station north of Detroit on Wednesday as record-cold temperatures swept over the region.
The National Weather Service said temperatures remain very much below freezing despite sunny skies. The freezing will hamper road recovery efforts with most roads remaining slick and dangerous today.
UPDATED at 8:00 p.m.:
East Lansing police confirm a 60-year-old man was found dead outdoors on Wednesday afternoon. It happened along Woodingham Drive. The man's name has not been released. An autopsy will determine if the cold weather was a factor. Wind chills were in the -20's in Ingham County on Wednesday afternoon.
Consumers Energy has called on customers to voluntarily reduce their natural gas usage following a fire at a suburban Detroit gas compressor station amid bitterly cold weather. The Jackson-based utility says no one was injured in the fire. The Michigan Public Service Commission said all state-owned facilities in the Lower Peninsula lowered their thermostats by 5 degrees to reduce the burden on the natural gas supply.
And the National Weather Service in Grand Rapids is forecasting a sudden warmup from the extreme cold. On Thursday afternoon it tweeted the graphic below and this message: "Check out the warm-up we are expecting into early next week! Many locations in Southern Lower Michigan are expected to reach 50 degrees."
UPDATED at 3:45 p.m.:
Amtrak Trains have canceled all trains to/from Michigan and to/from Chicago. Click here for the announcement.
From the National Weather Service office in Grand Rapids: Coldest arctic blast since 1994 hangs on into much of Thursday. Little to no improvement in the temperatures & wind chills compared to what occurred Wednesday morning. Dangerous travel conditions with snow in western & middle portions of the lower peninsula.
UPDATED at 3:40 p.m.:
Mayor Andy Schor has extended the city of Lansing's Snow Emergency. City Hall, 54-A District court and city facilities will remain closed on Thursday. The city council will also not meet. Trash collection is also being delayed. Click here to read the entire statement. Non-essential travel on Lansing roads is also prohibited.
UPDATED at 2:22 p.m.:
Police say at least two people in the Detroit area have died in the extremely cold weather , including a former member of the City Council in the town of Ecorse, Michigan.
UPDATED at 2:10 p.m.:
From Capital Area Ingham County Alerts: "We are experiencing a high amount of accidents in the City of Lansing and Ingham Co. If you have to drive please use extreme caution."
The Michigan State University women’s basketball team has postponed its game with Penn State on Thursday due to continuing inclement weather. The game will be re-scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 27 at a time to be determined.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is closing state government for the third day this week due to winter weather, saying the step is needed to keep people safe. Essential employees are continuing to work.
Whitmer — who announced Wednesday that state offices will remain closed Thursday — visited the State Emergency Operations Center near Lansing, thanking workers after getting a briefing. The National Weather Service says the extreme cold will last into Thursday. Wind chill factors of minus 40 degrees (negative 40 degree Celsius) can quickly lead to frostbite.