2014-01-13 / Front Page

Snowstorm closes school across County

Staff Writer

A Brown City Dept. of Public Works plow truck became stuck in ditch on Lincoln Street during storm cleanup. 
Photo courtesy Sharmin Anderson A Brown City Dept. of Public Works plow truck became stuck in ditch on Lincoln Street during storm cleanup. Photo courtesy Sharmin Anderson BROWN CITY — Students received an extended holiday vacation after the severe winter storm that swept through the area not only dropped a foot of snow but thermometers to record lows.

The frightful weather has been anything but delightful for area communities and residents trying to make their way outdoors.

The National Weather Service (NWS) Weather Forecast Office in Detroit/Pontiac reported the Brown City, Peck and Marlette areas received 16 inches of snow during the Jan. 4-5 storm, while Yale got 13 inches.

Flint’s heaviest snow storm came on Jan. 26-27, 1967 when 22.7 inches of snow fell, followed by April 2-3, 1975 with 17.3 inches and the recent storm with 17.1 inches. It was Detroit’s 24th heaviest snow storm with 10.6 inches, well below the city’s record of 24.5 inches on April 6, 1886.

The NWS noted the arctic chill that followed on Jan. 6-8 saw temperatures drop 20-30 degrees below normal for this time of year, creating dangerous wind chills and safety advisories.

The coldest temperatures occurred overnight on Jan. 6-7 with - 14 recorded at both Flint Bishop and Detroit Metro airports and -17 at the NWS White Lake office. The coldest wind chill readings also dove well below zero with Detroit reaching -41 degrees around 2 a.m. Jan. 7 and Flint at -35 degrees just before midnight Jan. 6.

The Sanilac and St. Clair county government offices were both closed Monday, while Sanilac County continued to be shut down Tuesday. All Sanilac County public schools were closed at least through Thursday.

Brown City Manager Clint Holmes said the city had its share of downed tree branches power lines but fared well in the storm.

Holmes said the storm did play havoc with the city’s two DPW trucks, one which was stuck in a ditch off Lincoln Street for a short time.

“When it was turning around, it got a little too close to the ditch,” he said. “We called a tow truck from North Branch, and it was out and back on the road in an hour or two.”

He said the other truck later blew two hydraulic lines but is expected to be repaired and back on the road relatively quickly.

“It’s been 20 years since we’ve seen temperatures like this in this area,” Holmes added. “We’d like it to warm up to 20 degrees so the salt will work. Overall, we weathered it very well; no pun intended.”

Yale City Manager John Osborn said the city was able to get Main Street open Monday for traffic and businesses.

“It was difficult outside of town, but we had things opened up pretty good in town,” he said. “Like everyone else, we have hard-packed snow on the roadway that hasn’t been cleared off yet.”

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