Sub-zero temperatures bring dangers to residents

Near white-out conditions on US-23 and M-68 have made traveling very hazardous. Caution is advised if you have to drive today. (Photos by Richard Lamb)
Near white-out conditions on US-23 and M-68 have made traveling very hazardous. Caution is advised if you have to drive today. (Photos by Richard Lamb)

0519-snowy-roadAn epic cold spell hit the north, closing schools and canceling many events. Near white-out conditions made roads hazardous Monday morning, with more snow and wind expected to follow.Snow is expected through at least Tuesday and temperatures may not break above the freezing mark until possibly Sunday, according to forecasts.

Consumers Energy offers the following tips to keep residents warm and safe:

1.     Install an audible UL listed carbon monoxide alarm. Poisonings from this colorless, odorless toxic gas are most prevalent in the winter when furnaces are operating and doors and windows are shut.
2.     Make sure furnaces are operating efficiently and safely by having them inspected and tuned annually.
3.     Replace furnace filters monthly during cold weather, especially if pets are in the home.
4.     Keep flammable materials such as clothing and boxes away from the furnace.
5.     Keep space heaters away from curtains, furniture, clothing and other flammable materials. Unplug space heaters before leaving the room or going to sleep.
6.     Never use a stove-top or oven or charcoal grill to heat your home.
7.     Never use a generator inside a home, basement or garage. Keep them outdoors at least 25 feet from the home.
1.     Those facing hardships with energy bills or other needs are encouraged to call 2-1-1, a free service in all Michigan counties with resources that can help within each community.
2.     Consumers Energy has a variety of programs for those in need. Customers should call     800-477-5050 for payment options and assistance programs.
3.     Federal government employees in Michigan who are affected by the ongoing shutdown should contact Consumers Energy for payment arrangements.

Consumers Energy is monitoring the weather and is ready to quickly respond to any electric or natural gas service interruptions.

Also this notice from the office of the governor:

Due to the emergency snow conditions impacting the state of Michigan, all state government offices in the Lower Peninsula will be closed on Monday, January 28, 2019, at 10 a.m.

“This is about keeping all Michiganders safe,” said Gov. Whitmer. “All motorists are

encouraged to stay off of the roads. If you must be out, please drive safely in these dangerous weather conditions and be respectful of road crews working to clear snow and ice.”

All nonessential state employees whose work location is located in the Lower Peninsula will be sent home at 10 a.m. to allow emergency crews to clear the roads. Certain offices will remain open for critical functions only. State employees with questions about whether their work functions are deemed critical should contact their supervisor.

The State Emergency Operations Center will remain open to monitor storm conditions.

All offices are expected to reopen on Tuesday, January 29, 2019, for regular business hours. Residents and employees should check for updates.