Freezing weather will continue

MARQUETTE – Freezing temperatures will continue to greet area residents throughout the week with the worst to come Wednesday, when thermometers could fall to 25 below zero during the day.

“There’s a little moderation towards the weekend,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Kevin Crupi this morning. “This week itself, weekdays until at least Friday are going to be very cold.”

Over Wednesday night, temperatures are forecasted to hit 35 below zero with the wind chill.

When temperatures dip that low, the weather service recommends “if going outdoors … make sure you wear a hat and gloves.”

Along with the extreme cold Crupi said people can expect to see some lake effect snow showers, especially over the Western Upper Peninsula and areas east of Munising.

The cold temperatures were already beginning to cause problems Monday, when Marquette Area Public Schools had to close down its high school early after a water main broke in the school’s basement.

“We had a pipe freeze and burst in a wall and unfortunately, we had a valve that didn’t work so we couldn’t shut it off and isolate it, so we had to turn off the water for the whole building,” said interim superintendent Bill Saunders.

Students returned to class today. Additionally, Republic-Michigamme Schools were closed today due to weather-related issues.

Roughly 1,200 Marquette Board of Light and Power customers were also without power early this morning after the freezing temperatures appeared to cause problems with a substation.

Superintendent of distribution Dave Lynch said this morning that crews couldn’t “find anything physically wrong” with the breaker, but power had to be switched from one substation to another anyway.

“When we isolated the problem, we tried to re-close the breaker at the substation, it wouldn’t hold,” Lynch said. “We think that was cold-related also.”

Lynch said the outage lasted from 2:29 a.m. until 5:22 today, affecting customers along Washington Street in Marquette and in the east side of the city.

Lynch said crews will continue to work today to bring the faulty substation back online.

“I think it was the temperatures,” Lynch said. “The colder it gets like this, the wires will get tighter and tighter and they just snap.”

Jackie Stark can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242.