Frigid weather continues in area

MARQUETTE – It might not be Polar Vortex Part 2, but it sure feels like it.

M-28 between Munising and Kawbawgam Road in Harvey remained closed as of this morning after the Alger County Road Commission, in conjunction with the Marquette County Road Commission, the Michigan Department of Transportation and Michigan State Police, shut down that stretch of highway at 9 p.m. Sunday. The closure was made due to hazardous weather conditions.

The National Weather Service in Negaunee Township predicted a high of minus 4 to minus 9 today, with a wind-chill factor of minus 40. All area schools are closed today.

The city of Marquette also released an announcement regarding frost levels, which are approaching depths that might affect water and sewer utilities. Residents who suspect their utilities are freezing should contact the Department of Public Works at 906-228-0444 from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. They may call 906-228-0488 after normal business hours or on weekends.

The city said if it’s necessary to waste water to prevent service pipes from freezing, customers should follow these guidelines:

– Run the cold water continuously at a rate of a quarter gallon to half a gallon per minute. The tap used for this reason should be where the noise of running water will have minimal impact on sleeping, etc., and where damage will be minimal should the drain become plugged. The room also can be expected to see a rise in humidity and a lower temperature.

– Open a tap completely for two to three minutes at least twice daily, with the optimal times being first thing in the morning and before retiring.

– Check the continuously running tap several times daily to ensure it isn’t closed by accident or by vibration.

– Do not use piping or a hose to connect a tap directly into a drain because this creates a cross-connection, a potentially serious health hazard.

– Have a friend or neighbor check on a home daily and fully open the tap for several minutes if the home will be unattended for more than 24 hours.

The city noted no credit is available on water bills for water wasted to prevent freezing unless the city thawed the line and determined responsibility for the problem. The city then has the option for issuing a written authorization to waste water if no other corrective measures are feasible.

For details on preventative measures and procedures on frozen utilities, visit the city website at

Christie Bleck can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250.