- Associated Press - Monday, February 16, 2015

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) - Intensely cold temperatures that have enveloped much of the state led to declaration Monday that a northern Michigan bay is frozen over.

The Watershed Center Grand Traverse Bay said - for at least 24 hours - a sheet of ice extended seven miles over West Grand Traverse Bay from its southern beachfront to Power Island, the Traverse City Record-Eagle reported.

Ice also has formed over close to 94 percent of Lake Erie, according to the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory.

Temperatures in some parts of the state were more than 20 degrees below zero. Port Huron hit -26 Monday morning and Lapeer reached -25. Caro in Tuscola County registered -24 degrees.

Detroit Metropolitan Airport in Romulus dipped to -9, matching the record for the date in Detroit from 1904. Flint’s 21 below broke a -13 mark from 1963.



Lake Michigan connects to Grand Traverse Bay. West Grand Traverse Bay last froze over on Feb. 3, 2014.

“I think we had two really cold winters,” Watershed Center program director Sarah U’Ren told the Record-Eagle. “Since Lake Michigan froze over so much last year and it thawed later in the season, then it started off cooler this year … therefore it had less of a distance to go to get to frozen.”

The temperature hit -10 after midnight Monday in Traverse City. Northern Michigan’s Gaylord had a low of -24 Sunday.

“If you like cold, you’re in the right place,” Keith Berger, of the National Weather Service’s Gaylord office, told the Petoskey News-Review.

Berger said a moderation in temperatures was expected Monday and Tuesday “if you can call temperatures warming into the teens moderation.”

“The bad news is we’re going to go through this again on Wednesday and Thursday,” he added.

The cold also proved too much for some infrastructure across the state. Some streets in a northwest Detroit neighborhood were ice-clogged Monday after a water main malfunctioned, WJBK-TV said.

The Covenant HealthCare Mackinaw campus in Saginaw also closed due to a frozen pipe that burst. Officials said they were evaluating the facility and all offices and services were shut down.

Schools across Saginaw County were closed for the day, according to The Saginaw News. The temperature in Saginaw was -6 degrees Monday morning.

Saginaw Township Community Schools were closed in part because of a water leak at Heritage High School and frigid temperatures.

The Times Herald in Port Huron reported that classes were called off during the day at Baker College due to inclement weather.

Conditions also proved deadly for a southwestern Michigan man. Cass County Sheriff Joseph Underwood said Paul Williamson, 53, of Dowagiac, was killed in Wayne Township in an accident with his snowplow.

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