KALAMAZOO, Mich. — It seems the entire state of Michigan closed for business Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019.
Due to the cold.
To illustrate just how cold, know that Michigan Technical University in Houghton-Handcock -- home of the nearly 100-year-old Winter Carnival -- also closed Wednesday. The university announced the closure Tuesday on its website.
In West Michigan, several offices, counties, medical facilities and schools shut down Tuesday as the record-breaking cold began to descend from the Arctic, on its way to smashing the Midwest.
Portage non-emergency offices closed Wednesday. The Portage offices were closed due to the predicted extremely low temperatures and wind chills. Anyone with an emergency should call 911.
Portage also declared a snow emergency, and there is no parking on the street until it's lifted.
Spectrum Health Medical Group physician offices and outpatient rehabilitation locations were closed across the 13 counties in West Michigan. Hospital services, surgeries and urgent care locations remained open. The Hudsonville Meijer walk-in clinic and the walk-in clinic at 426 Michigan Street, Grand Rapids, also remained open.
Cancellations of Spectrum Health programs and classes could be verified on the website.
The federal Social Security offices across Michigan closed temporarily because of the cold.
The state of Michigan closed all government offices.
School, church and other closings can be viewed at the WWMT website.
Several warming centers were opened Tuesday across West Michigan to help people deal with the extreme cold:
Kalamazoo County and the city of Kalamazoo partnered to open a warming shelter at the Douglass Community Association, 1000 W. Patterson St., which started at 4 p.m. Tuesday. Jan. 29. The shelter was scheduled stay open until at least Wednesday.
Shelters are also available in Kalamazoo at the First Congregational Church and the First Baptist Church in downtown Kalamazoo, where a number of Western Michigan University students helped to provide food. You can call 269-501-3750 if you need a ride to a warming shelter.
For those who needed a ride to the shelters, which announced Wednesday morning they would be open 24/7, the city said you can call (269) 501-3750 to schedule a pick-up.
Mel Trotter Ministries in Grand Rapids issued a “Code Blue.” Several warming centers were opened by the nonprofit assistance agency. The times and locations could be found at Meltrotter.org.
Battle Creek opened several warming stations, including the Battle Creek Fire Department, Police Department and Transit. The First Congregational Church, 145 Capital Ave. N.E., The Haven, 11 Green St., SHARE Center, 120 Grove St., and Kingdom Builders World Wide, 50 Spence St., were opened as shelters. Times and locations can be viewed at the city website.
South Haven Community Church, 1045 E. Wilson St., opened at 4 p.m. Tuesday, and is scheduled to remain open though 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 1. 2019.
Allegan County opened several warming centers:
Albion made several warming centers available Wednesday and Thursday:
The Linking Center, 943 56th St. in Pullman, scheduled warming center hours from 9 a.m. Tuesday through services Thursday night. Beds, blankets and meals will be provided. There is no smoking, alcohol/drugs, weapons or pets allowed on the premises.
Coldwater opened an emergency warming center at the Coach Eby Youth and Family Center, 89 W. Chicago St., and have local rides available. Call (517) 278-5031 for a ride. The center also served meals at 8 a.m., 12 p.m. and 5 p.m.
Assistance also can be found by dialing 211 during the cold weather to find a nearby shelter.
Pets in Kalamazoo could be brought to the Kalamazoo County Animal Services building, 2500 Lake St., for free shelter or other arrangements could be made.
The Red Cross, Loaves and Fishes, the Salvation Army, local churches, shelters and volunteers worked to make sure everyone was safe.