EARLIER: Man rescued after falling through ice

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By Lisa King

Saturday's snow storm did not cause many problems for Shelby Countians, with the exception of an elderly Southville man who fell through the ice on his frozen pond farm.

But lucky for Ray Clark Casey, 69, a good Samaritan who was passing by stopped to rescue him.

Casey was lying in the freezing water when Todd Brown and his wife, Heather, happened along with their three children.

Brown said he was trying to keep his eyes on the road because it had been snowing, so he didn't see Casey lying on his back in the pond with his head above the water, but his wife did.

"She said, 'Oh my God, there's a man down there in the pond!" she exclaimed, pointing to a small pond just off the road.

Todd Brown said he wasn't sure the man was alive until his wife rolled her window down and called out to him.

"He called back, 'Help me,'" Brown said.

Brown parked on the side of the road and went down and pulled Casey out of the freezing water. Temperatures at the time were in the mid-20s.

Brown said he and his wife got Casey back to his tractor, which had an enclosed cab and got the heat going. His wife had called 911, so when paramedics got there, they took him home, got him into some dry clothing and checked him out, Brown said.

"EMS did a great job and he's doing fine now," Brown said.

He added that Casey had been trying to chop up some ice in the pond so his cattle could drink.

Todd Early, deputy EMS director, said it's always gratifying for his crew when a tragedy is averted.

"We were just glad everything turned out O.K." he said.

Brown said he is glad that he and his wife could be of help.

"If it hadn't been for Heather, we never would have found him," he said. "We're just glad we were in the right place at the right time. He must be like a cat. He's got nine lives."

With the exception of Casey, no one else in the county experienced significant problems, Shelby County Detective Jason Rice said. 

"We didn't have anything out of the norm," he said. "The snow did cause some issues in that we had several wrecks, but no one was injured because they were low-speed crashes."

Salt crews had been out on Friday, dousing the roads with brine, which aided in the breakdown of ice. Weather forecasters had been excitedly creating colorful snow charts, and the town was abuzz with anticipation over the coming snow storm some thought would dump a foot of snow on Shelby County.

Both Road Supervisor Carl Henry and City Engineer Jennifer Herrell kept their noses glued to their windows, waiting for that first snowflake to fall.

"We sent our crews out at 3 o'clock Saturday morning as soon as it started snowing," Herrell said. "Everything went smoothly."

Henry agreed. "We got it cleared off the roads in record time," he said.

Emergency Management Director Frazee said he imagines that forecasters must have been disappointed.

"It was a pretty wimpy storm," he said.

With snow accumulation predictions all over the scale from an inch to a foot of snow, Frazee's prediction of from 2 to 4 inches was fairly accurate, he said.

"That's about what we got, with the northern part of the county getting two, and the southern end getting four," he said.

"It was just what we predicted," Deputy EMA Director Paul Whitman said.

Frazee said he checked with Shelby County Dispatch, and they reported no issues with power outages, something that concerned officials last week.

Henry said things went smoothly for his road crews as well, except for a few disgruntled residents.

"It's very frustrating to my drivers and to me," he said. "They say they can't get out because they need their driveways shoveled. Why, it would take me all year to get everybody's driveway shoveled out."

Henry said that barring a much bigger storm, he believes the remainder of the winter will be manageable.

"We have plenty of salt left, and our trucks are in good shape," he said.

Frazee said he wasn't too worried about the prediction of a wintry mix for this weekend.

"It shouldn't be that bad," he said.