Unprecedented polar vortex leads to weeklong GRPS closure

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Grand Rapids Public Schools has cancelled classes for the remainder of the week as snow and bitter cold temperatures envelope West Michigan.

GRPS has cancelled classes for Thursday and Friday as well as all evening activities. It comes after being closed for three days. 

Spokesperson John Helmholt told 24 Hour News 8 that he is not aware of the district being closed for more than three days in a row.

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The decision to close for the week comes as the combination of heavy snow, gusty winds and brutal cold temperatures have led to some the harshest week of winter weather in decades.

The National Weather has issued a  Winter Storm Warning  for most of the area until 1 p.m. Thursday for snow, blowing and drifting snow along with dangerously cold wind chills.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer  declared a state of emergency  for the entire state due to the bitterly cold temperatures expected in the next few days. She also activated the state's Emergency Operations Center, which coordinates responses among multiple agencies.

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Nearly 900 schools, businesses and organizations were  closed Wednesday  due to the snow and dangerously cold temperatures. 

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