Winter heating bill help, warming centers & more to know as snow and sub-zero temperatures come to Muskegon

A snow-filled Lake Harbor Park. Photo by Anna Gustafson

With up to 10 inches of snow and sub-zero temperatures predicted for Muskegon County today, schools, government offices, libraries, and others have shuttered throughout the region and residents are being asked to stay off the roads and hunker down at home if possible.

A winter storm warning for Muskegon County remains in effect until 7pm; between six and 10 inches of snow are predicted for our area and wind chills as low as 20 below zero could cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 30 minutes. Individuals are being asked to stay off the roads; if you do have to travel, remember to bring a flashlight, food and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency.

For those who will be driving, you can check to see what roads are plowed on the Michigan Department of Transportation’s MiDrive online mapping system. There, you can also see if there are reported accidents, check out traffic flow, and more.

Heating centers

For those who need a warm place to stay, the Muskegon Rescue Mission at 1715 Peck St. is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For more information, please call them at 231-727-6090. To see heating centers outside of Muskegon, please click here.

What’s closed today

If you know of other closings, please email us at muskegontimes@gmail.com and we’ll add them to the list.

Schools: Baker College, Fruitport Community Schools, Holton Public Schools, Muskegon Public Schools, Muskegon Heights Public Schools, Mona Shores Public Schools, Montague Area Public Schools, Whitehall District Schools, Reeths Puffer Schools, Oakridge Public Schools, Orchard View Schools, Muskegon Community College

Transportation: MARC Route 115 (Muskegon to Montague).

Beach Street from the water filtration plant to Beachwood Park is closed.

Government offices: The Muskegon Heights City Hall closed at 12pm, Muskegon County offices closed at 12pm, Fruitport Charter Township offices.

Libraries: Hackley Public Library, Muskegon Area District Library, Fruitport District Library.

Hackley Community Care Center: The Baker and Leahy sites will close at 3pm. All school-based health programs, services, the Muskegon Teen Health Center, and Oakridge Teen Health Center are closed. If your student has urgent medical needs, please call Hackley Community Care at 231-737-1335.

Community enCompass: All Community enCompass locations are closed today and are expected to reopen at 11am Tuesday. To keep up to date on Community enCompass closures and openings, visit their Facebook page.

United Way of the Lakeshore is closed all day.

Boys & Girls Club of the Muskegon Lakeshore is closed.

Bars/restaurants: The Hearthstone Bistro, Fricano’s.

Museums: The Muskegon Museum of Art and the Lakeshore Museum Center.

Photo by Anna Gustafson

Assistance with paying heat bills

The Michigan Public Service Commission provides $50 million for heating help through the Michigan Energy Assistance Program, which offers support for households struggling to pay utility bills.

The following community agencies help with the MEAP application process: Salvation Army, TrueNorth Community Services, The Heat and Warmth Fund, and Michigan Community Action, among others. Click on any of the above names for contact information.

Anyone having difficulties paying utility bills should call their local electric or natural gas provider and enroll in help programs. For Consumers Energy Co., dial (800) 477-5050; for DTE Energy Co., (800) 477-4747.

For issues with utilities, call the MPSC Customer Assistance line at (800) 292-9555, or dial 211.

Lend our firefighters a hand and keep hydrants clear

Firefighters don’t want to have to spend precious seconds digging out hydrants from the snow when they need to fight flames. You can help them out by clearing a three-foot space around all sides of the hydrant. For more information, please click here.

Take the Muskegon Public Schools Snow Day Challenge

Muskegon Public Schools is challenging its students to read a book for more than 30 minutes, do some exercise, and call family members while they’re enjoying their snow day. To find out more, watch the MPS video here, and be sure to use the hashtag #mpsSnowDay when sharing on social media.

Stay safe and warm, everyone!

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