In a statement released Friday morning, GM said employees at all of its Michigan manufacturing facilities would be returning to work today, save for the Lansing Grand River plant, which will resume operations on Monday, Feb. 4. The automaker said some “critical labs, testing and other limited locations,” would remain closed until Monday as well.
The automaker also advised employees working at its Global Technical Center, Pontiac Engineering Center and CCA-Grand Blanc facility should continue to work from home Friday and expect to return to work on Monday.
“It is expected that fully normal operations will resume over the weekend,” the company indicated, referencing the natural gas supply.
Michigan’s Consumers’ Energy advised residents and businesses to turn their thermostats down this week after an explosion at one of its supply facilities caused a natural gas shortage. At the time, Consumers Energy CEO Patti Poppe described the situation as an “unprecedented crisis,” and said the company had “never been in this situation before.”
The natural gas shortage forced GM to shut down a myriad of manufacturing facilities including Bay City Powertrain, Orion Assembly, Flint Assembly, Lansing Delta Township Assembly, Lansing Grand River Assembly, Warren Transmission and many more. A handful of non-manufacturing facilities were also shuttered including the Warren GM Tech Centerm Pontiac Engineering and Grand Blanc Customer Care and Aftersales.
The explosion came as a polar vortex brought about extremely cold temperatures in the American midwest this week. The cold snap, which is expected to subside over the weekend, may be responsible for up to 21 deaths in the US. Record cold temperatures have been recorded in parts of Michigan and surrounding states, with windchill temperatures dipping to around -51F in certain regions.