Polar vortex shuts down mail deliveries, schools, some businesses

By: 
Linda Gallagher, Contributing Writer

Courtesy photo

An extended blast of extremely cold air changed northern Michigan's relatively mild winter to a season to remember last week, closing schools, businesses, state offices, and for the first time anyone could remember, mail service deliveries across the Midwest. But road commissions and village DPW employees worked overtime to keep ahead of the very poor conditions on the roadways in both Antrim and Kalkaska counties. 

 

REGION – An extended blast of extremely cold air changed northern Michigan's relatively mild winter into a season to remember last week, bringing heavy snows and very chilly temperatures, with wind chill factors even lower – shutting down state offices, schools across the area, a number of businesses, and for the first time anyone could remember, mail service deliveries across the Midwest.

Central Lake Postmaster Cherie Fuss answered with an emphatic "no!" when asked if she could remember the U.S. Postal Service ever stopping mail delivery in her 33-year career.

"I don't remember that ever happening before last week," Fuss said, noting that she believed the cessation in service, which occurred on Wednesday, Jan. 30 and again on Thursday, Jan. 31, was a first for the federal agency.

"But the post offices were all open, and anyone who could make it in could pick up their mail, which a lot of people did," she noted. "We were here. There just wasn't any delivery, and offices closed early at 3 p.m. on both of those days."

All schools in both Kalkaska and Antrim counties also closed, many for almost the entire week, with district superintendents blaming the extremely cold temperatures, as well as dangerous whiteout road conditions from the high winds. Under those unique conditions, diesel school buses refused to start, secondary roads were coated in ice and blowing snow drifts, and strained school furnaces ran constantly in an effort to keep buildings warm.

On Tuesday, Jan. 29, new Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer approved a state emergency ahead of the coldest temperatures on Wednesday and Thursday, which closed Secretary of State branches in Bellaire and Kalkaska and several other state-operated offices in both counties as well.

Read the full story in our regular edition of The Review. To subscribe to the paper for just $34 a year, which includes access to our full online e-edition, please go to the subscription page on this website at: http://www.antrimreview.net/subscribe/

 

The Review

 

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 313
Bellaire, MI 49615
Phone: 231-533-5651
Fax: 231-533-4662
 
Physical Address: 
4470 S. M-88 Hwy.
Bellaire, MI 49615

View Map

Email Us

Facebook Facebook Twitter

Please Login for Premium Content