- Associated Press - Thursday, March 24, 2016

DETROIT (AP) - Snow, ice and wind from an early spring storm knocked out power to hundreds of homes in some western Michigan communities.

Utility companies said scattered outages occurred Thursday in Mason, Oceana and Lake counties, the Ludington Daily News reported.

The emergency phone service line for Mason-Oceana 911 also went down.

The storm moved into Michigan on Wednesday and was expected to continue into Thursday afternoon or evening. Snow totals could reach 12 inches in some places.

Police issued warnings for motorists and Mason County suggested that people who could avoid driving stay off the roads.

“If they are going to travel, people should give themselves some extra time and slow down,” Mason County sheriff’s Chief Deputy Steve Hansen said. “In some places the roads are only one lane and most of them are icy and slushy. People should use extreme caution.”

Between noon and about 4 a.m. Thursday, emergency crews responded to about 130 crashes in mid-Michigan’s Saginaw County, according to MLive.com.

High winds prompted the Mackinac Bridge Authority to require pickup trucks with campers, Ryder or U-Haul trucks, semi tractors with enclosed trailers, trailers with side walls over 2 feet in height and other “high-profile” vehicles to have an escort while crossing the 5-mile span.

Mount Pleasant received about 5 inches of snow. Ice up to a quarter-inch was reported in Greenville.

The Detroit area and other parts of southern Michigan, meanwhile, got heavy rain instead of snow.

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