Traverse City Record-Eagle


January 6, 2014

Michigan temps plunge after big wallop of snow

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — Michigan residents on Monday watched — and felt — the thermometer spiral downward to dangerously cold levels as they dug out following a multiday storm that shuttered schools, closed government offices across the state and contributed to at least six deaths.

Hundreds of vehicles also strained to start in the plunging temperatures or spun out from slick roadways into snowy side ditches.

According to the National Weather Service, 18.7 inches of snow fell northwest in Owosso, 17.1 inches in Flint, 15.9 inches at Howell, 15.5 inches north of Jackson and 15 inches north of Battle Creek. In the Detroit suburb of Romulus, 10.6 inches of snow were reported at Detroit Metropolitan Airport.

The snow wrapped up after starting Saturday or Sunday, depending on the area. Roads were slippery as crews worked to clear the snow. Weather was a factor in at least three roadway deaths.

A car went out of control and slid in front of an oncoming propane tanker Monday afternoon in Otsego County's Chester Township in the northern Lower Peninsula, state police said. The car's driver was critically injured and its passenger killed. Their names weren't immediately released.

A 16-year-old driver hit 50-year-old pedestrian Timothy Nixon, of Hastings, on Saturday in Barry County's Baltimore Township, according to state police. Branden Hewitt, 27, of Owendale died Saturday in a two-vehicle crash in Huron County's Brookfield Township.

Three people also collapsed and died while shoveling snow.

A 36-year-old Detroit man died at an Oakland County hospital after collapsing Sunday, Oakland County medical examiner's office administrator Robert Gerds told the Detroit Free Press. A 57-year-old Milford man died Saturday after collapsing while shoveling snow, as did a 67-year-old Pontiac woman, Gerds added.

Janice Gilbert was using a snow blower Monday morning to clear the sidewalks and driveways of Sacred Heart church and school on Michigan Avenue, a main thoroughfare in the Detroit suburb of Dearborn, even though the school was closed.

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