Undated (WTVB) - Really frigid winter weather has been absent for at least two years in Branch County but it has arrived this week with a rush of below zero wind chill readings, stiff winds and mostly a dusting of lake effect snow. The wind can make the snow and cold worse by blowing snow back onto roadways after plow trucks have cleared them and it also creates white-out conditions.
When it gets this cold, road salt doesn’t work very well, if at all. Branch County missed the worst of what Mother Nature dished out on Monday across Southwest Michigan. Only one injury accident of note occurred yesterday and that was around 7:40 last night in a collision north of Coldwater at Marshall and Jonesville Road. Again, only minor injuries were reported. Dispatchers in Calhoun and Kalamazoo counties report dozens of slide-offs as a result of yesterday’s blustery lake effect assault on West Michigan. There was a 30-car chain reaction collision on I-96 near Marne and forced the closure of I-94 near Galesburg in both directions for two hours, because there were so many wrecks. Thankfully, despite all the bent metal, there were no reports of any serious injuries.
Area stores report a rush on gloves, scarves, winter coats and anything else that might help folks stay warm. At last night’s Branch County Township Supervisor’s Association January meeting, featured speaker Kyle Bader, DNR Conservation officer said he believes it’s a toss up as to whether there will be enough ice for snowmobile races this coming weekend for the Quincy Marble Lake Chains of Lakes Tip-Up Festival. As of Monday, Bader said it didn’t look good for the races, but only time will tell.