Whitmer: It's prudent to close government over extreme cold

WINDSOR TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) - Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says it was prudent to close state government for the second time this week due to winter weather, saying the step was clearly needed to keep people safe.

Essential employees continue to work Wednesday.

Whitmer visited the State Emergency Operations Center near Lansing, thanking workers after getting a briefing. The National Weather Service says the extreme cold will last into Thursday. Wind chill factors of negative 40 degrees can quickly lead to frostbite.

Free bus rides are being offered in the Detroit area. Mail delivery is suspended. Universities and schools are closed. Eastern Michigan University will stay closed Thursday.

Amid snow, winter storm warnings are in effect in parts of Michigan. Dozens of flights are canceled at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids.