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Subzero temps kill 3, flood St. Clair River

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The National Weather Service has issued a flood warning for southeastern St. Clair County through Sunday after an ice blockage on the St. Clair River caused the waterway to overflow its banks.

The ice flows and flooding are part of a continued deep freeze that could break a National Weather Service record on Saturday for the most consecutive days with temperatures below 20.

The extreme cold hasn’t made an impact on requests to The Heat and Warmth Fund (THAW). Back-to-school and Christmas, he said, create more demands on THAW than the weather. Households stretched thin by seasonal expenses are more likely to have trouble with utility bills.

“There’s not really a direct correlation to low temperatures and shutoffs,” said chief operating officer Matthew Phillips. “If it’s 40 degrees, you have your furnace on. If it’s minus-40 degrees, you have your furnace on. The bill comes either way.”

THAW expects to help more than 22,000 Michigan households with heat and electricity bills in 2018, focusing on clients whose power has already been terminated or who have received shutoff notices.