Advance Notice: Briefs

Whitmer declares state of emergency due to ‘extreme’ weather

By: - January 29, 2019 12:27 pm

Capitol Building, Jan. 28, 2019 | Michael Gerstein

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has signed a formal order declaring a state of emergency in Michigan.

The measure, which she said she will file Tuesday morning with the Secretary of State, is designed to help address threats to public health and safety related to the extreme winter weather conditions across forecast for Michigan’s 83 counties over the next several days.

In a tweet Monday night, Whitmer wrote: “I am declaring a state of emergency to respond to the impacts of the extreme cold temperatures. Keeping Michiganders safe during this stretch of dangerously cold temperatures is our priority.”  

Whitmer also announced she activated the State Emergency Operations Center at Michigan State Police headquarters. The center coordinates response and recovery efforts by state agencies and local government during disasters or emergencies.

Lansing City Hall may have closed for the day on Jan. 28, 2019, but emergency services did not | Michael Gerstein

Extreme arctic cold has attacked the Midwest, including Michigan, and is expected to create dangerously cold wind chills and sub-zero temperatures throughout the state. Tomorrow’s high temperature in Detroit is forecast at -3 degrees; 0 degrees in Lansing; and 2 degrees in Traverse City.

The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a wind chill warning from 4 p.m. Tuesday through 1 p.m. Thursday, advising that wind chill temperatures could plummet to -40 in “much of interior of Michigan.”

“The dangerously cold wind chills could cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 10 minutes.” the NWS warned.

Whitmer closed state offices at 10 a.m. Monday, while the state House and other county and city offices in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula called a rare snow day.

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Ken Coleman
Ken Coleman

Ken Coleman covers Southeast Michigan, economic justice and civil rights. He is a former Michigan Chronicle senior editor and served as the American Black Journal segment host on Detroit Public Television. He has written and published four books on black life in Detroit, including Soul on Air: Blacks Who Helped to Define Radio in Detroit and Forever Young: A Coleman Reader. His work has been cited by the Detroit News, Detroit Free Press, History Channel and CNN. Additionally, he was an essayist for the award-winning book, Detroit 1967: Origins, Impacts, Legacies. Ken has served as a spokesperson for the Michigan Democratic Party, Detroit Public Schools, U.S. Sen. Gary Peters and U.S. Rep. Brenda Lawrence. Previously to joining the Advance, he worked for the Detroit Federation of Teachers as a communications specialist. He is a Historical Society of Michigan trustee and a Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Detroit advisory board member.