Snow, cold in Michigan, but power crews head south

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Associated Press

Posted on March 3, 2014 at 4:01 PM

Updated Monday, Mar 3 at 4:01 PM

JACKSON, Mich. (AP) — A fresh wave of snow fell on much of Michigan over the weekend, but weather conditions were worse elsewhere in the country. On Sunday, CMS Energy Corp. dispatches dozens of its employees to help with a severe ice storm expected to hit Kentucky.

Jackson-based CMS Energy Corp.'s Consumers Energy union said about 65 of its workers were leaving the company's Jackson service center around 8 a.m. Sunday and heading for Louisville, Ky. They will be helping Louisville Gas and Electric with a storm expected to hit the area Sunday evening.

The utility crews, technicians, mechanics and supervisors were being sent under the auspices of the Great Lakes Mutual Assistance organization. That group helped CMS Energy during Michigan's December snowstorm.

"We are pleased to be able to assist a fellow utility as it prepares for what looks like a significant ice storm headed for Kentucky," Consumers Energy Vice President Michele Kirkland said in a statement.

Kirkland said Michigan was fortunate to have assistance from many out-of-state contractors during the December storm.

"We're happy to return the favor," she said.

CMS Energy provides electricity and natural gas to about 6.5 million of Michigan's 10 million residents.

Slippery streets and highways caused numerous accidents in Michigan, including one in which a car hit a state police patrol car on Interstate 696 in Southfield. The trooper, who was handling an earlier accident, escaped injury in the crash, which halted traffic for some time on eastbound I-696, WWJ-AM reported.

About 9:15 p.m. Saturday, a 45-year-old man was killed when his snowmobile collided with a parked SUV in Van Buren County's Columbia Township in southwestern lower Michigan. Sheriff Dale Gribler identified the victim as Scott Friend of Decatur. Snow was falling across the area at the time, but it wasn't immediately clear what caused the crash.

Snowfall totals from the storm that began Saturday reached 5.1 inches in Jackson County and 4.5 inches in Lenawee, Livingston and Wayne counties, the National Weather Service said. It said Michigan's temperatures again plunged well below freezing, with early morning low temperatures hitting minus 17 at Pellston and Ironwood.

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