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Tourism officials promote May cross-country skiing in northern Wisconsin

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BAYFIELD COUNTY, WI (WTAQ) - Wisconsin tourism officials are promoting a rare cross-country skiing opportunity for May, after up to 18 inches of snow fell in the northwest part of the state since Wednesday.

Most of it was on the ground by mid-morning Thursday, but Mellen in Ashland County had almost 8 more inches throughout the day for a total of 16.

The State Tourism Department revived its “Snow Condition Report” and said Bayfield County has good cross-country ski conditions for the weekend.

The American Birkebeiner, the nation’s largest cross-country ski race, says its trail near Hayward is open – and the skiing conditions should be good at least through Saturday.

Wisconsin’s general sport fishing season also begins Saturday. But the DNR said nearly all lakes In Ashland, Iron, Sawyer, and Price counties still had a lot of ice – and it delayed the stocking of trout on dozens of lakes.

Most electric customers in northwest Wisconsin got their power back by late last night. Xcel Energy said up to 16,000 Wisconsin customers lost their power.

The storm claimed at least one life on the highways.

A 45-year-old truck driver from Stacy Minnesota struck another rig early Thursday while both were heading east during the snow on Interstate 94 west of Menomonie. The State Patrol said one of the semis apparently jackknifed.

Forecasters expect lingering precipitation in much of the Wisconsin Friday, and a return to normal temperatures for the weekend – with a lot of the snow turning to water.

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