Arctic blast

It looked like a clerical error cover-up in Northwest Ottawa County Monday — and somebody spilled the whiteout.
Marie Havenga
Jan 7, 2014

Near-zero visibility matched actual temperatures, but wind gusts of up to 40 mph cascaded the wind chill toward a numbing 30 below zero.

By Monday night, temperatures had dropped to -1 degree, with wind chills at -29 degrees.

Blowing snow clung to screens and windows, and relentless rolling drifts caused dangerous driving conditions.

Many residents reported difficulty even getting out of their driveways due to snow drifts.

More of the same is expected today.

Grand Haven and Spring Lake Public Schools are closed because of weather for a second consecutive day. The Arctic activity is also responsible for many government offices and businesses being closed on Monday.

Jill Hutchinson, owner of Buffalo Bob's, described Washington Avenue in downtown Grand Haven as a “ghost town” on Monday.

Looking through sub-zero winds, she noticed many businesses were closed.

“I don't think I remember it ever being quite this bad,” she said.

Hutchinson has been in business at the corner of Second and Washington for 23 years.

“Hardly anyone is open. Floto's is closed and they never close,” she said. “Lee & Birch, What a Gem — they're all closed. Paper Place is open because she walked to work. Michigan Rag is open because Randy lives above.”

Hutchinson said she's never been more thankful for her short commute than she was on Monday. She and her husband, Bob, live above the 136 Washington Ave. business.

“Even the wind just going down the stairs was bad,” she said.

Customers were scarce. Hutchinson sold a facemask to man who put it on before he left the store.

Hutchinson said she planned to close early Monday.

“It's ugly out there,” she said.

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.


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