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First major snowfall of the season causes driving problems in Branch County, helps ski resorts in Michigan

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COLDWATER, MI (WTVB) - Branch County’s first significant snowfall of the season yesterday accumulated between three and five inches, depending on your location , with the heaviest amounts apparently in the southeast portion of the county. Driving conditions became slippery when gusty winds blew the snow across roadways with Branch County 9-1-1 Central Dispatch listing nearly 30 slide off, rollover, or fender bender accidents. However, no serious injuries were reported. You may not be cheering for lots of snow this winter, but there are plenty of people who are. Farmers need the moisture, and in some cases the ground cover to protect and replenish their fields.

Snow is also needed to boost water levels in the Great Lakes, and in the state’s thousands of much smaller lakes, many of which are close to historically low levels.  The precipitation the last few days is a start to reverse that trend, but it’s going to take a lot of snow to replenish what has gone missing. And Timber Ridge , Bittersweet, and Cannonsburg Ski Areas are all open for skiing as they have launched the season during the all important holiday break.  Joan Bailey at Timber Ridge says they couldn’t have done it without making their own snow.

She says even if you don’t have equipment or skiing experience, they have rentals and regular classes. The Christmas Holiday break is critical for the ski slopes which had a tough year last year. If they can get the season off to a good beginning while the kids are out of school, the rest of the season should be better.

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