- Associated Press - Thursday, January 8, 2015

DETROIT (AP) - Hundreds of Michigan schools closed Thursday as the state faced another day of dangerously cold temperatures and braced for more snow. Icy and snowy roads were blamed for four traffic deaths in the Lower Peninsula.

Detroit Public Schools and many other southern Michigan districts canceled classes Thursday, and some were already announcing plans to close again Friday.

Overnight temperatures dropped to minus 7 at Benton Harbor and minus 6 at Coldwater and Marshall, the National Weather Service said. Thursday afternoon’s readings reached only into the teens or single digits, with Drummond Island and Pellston hitting 18 degrees.

Western parts of the state near Lake Michigan could get 6 to 10 inches of snow starting Thursday, and the Detroit area could get at least 2 inches of snow, the weather service said.

Grosse Pointe schools, near Detroit, were among the few in the area that held classes, despite the extreme temperatures. Students, of course, weren’t happy.

“I have to walk home. I can’t always get a ride,” said Hannah Brauer, a junior at Grosse Pointe South High School.

Two students from the LakeVille Community Schools were killed in a crash Thursday in Genesee County’s Forest Township, The Flint Journal reported. Their names weren’t immediately released.

Elsewhere, two men were killed when drivers lost control of their cars and struck them Wednesday in northern Michigan.

Carl Dewey, 85, was crossing a road to pick up his mail when he was hit in Antrim County’s Helena Township. Zane Chwastek, 64, of Kalkaska County’s Bear Lake Township was using a snow blower in his driveway when a car slid off the road and struck him.

In southwestern Michigan, authorities set up warming centers after 680 homes and businesses lost natural gas service Wednesday in Berrien County’s Chikaming Township. The majority had service back by Thursday morning.

In Detroit, Mayor Mike Duggan said authorities might have to shut down a tent city in a park east of downtown because conditions were too harsh for the homeless residents.


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