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Coldest temperatures in years wash over Kalamazoo and West Michigan

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Freezing thermometer
Freezing thermometer

UNDATED (WKZO) -- Winter took its time making its first appearence, but it has arrived with a rush of lake effect snow, stiff winds and bitter cold temperatures.

The wind makes the snow and cold worse by blowing snow back onto roadways after plow trucks have cleared them, and by dropping the wind chill factor to below zero. The wind also creates white-out conditions.

National Service Meterologist Bruce Sullivan says it’s the coldest blast so far this winter season.When it gets this cold, road salt doesn’t work.

Dispatchers in Kalamazoo and Calhoun counties report dozens of slide-offs as a result of yesterday’s blustery lake effect assault on West Michigan and there have been many more this morning.

Yesterday the weather also caused a 6 car pile up on the Howard Street Hill, and a 30-car chain reaction collision on I-96 near Marne and forced the closure of I-94 near Galesburg in both directions for two hours, because there were so many wrecks.

The largest Chain reaction collision occurred in Ohio where 87-vehicles piled up, killing a 12-year-old girl and injuring 20 others.

Thankfully, despite all the bent metal, there were no reports of any serious injuries around here.

Its been nearly two years since we have experienced weather this cold and it’s a good idea to bundle up in layers, cover your ears and try to avoid getting stuck out in it for any period of time.

Area stores report a rush on gloves, scarves, winter coats and anythingElse that might help folks stay warm.

Joggers who run outdoors have to be careful not to over do it, and may be better off working out indoors until temperatures aren’t life threatening. ‘

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