Michigan governor issues state of emergency ahead of cold

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has signed an order declaring a state of emergency in Michigan ahead of dangerous subzero weather .

Whitmer said Tuesday her move will harness government resources and ensure the public “understands the seriousness” of the once-in-a-generation cold snap. She visited the Cristo Rey Community Center in Lansing — a warming house for residents.

She helped serve food while touring the facility. Lansing Mayor Andy Schor says the city’s homeless shelters are “overloaded.”

Whitmer has also activated the State Emergency Operations Center. It coordinates response efforts by state agencies and local governments during emergencies.

Wind chill factors may drop to as low as negative 45 degrees from Tuesday night through Thursday morning. Michigan State University has suspended Wednesday classes. Some Grand Rapids-area highways were closed Tuesday due to pileups.

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This story has been corrected to show that the name of the facility is the Cristo Rey Community Center, not Christo Rey.