LACONIA — The first storm of the winter brought a mixture of snow and sleet to the Lakes Region and created hazardous driving conditions but resulted in no major accidents through late afternoon on Tuesday according to local officials.
It also allowed Gunstock Mountain Resort to open five lower mountain trails and to go full bore on snowmaking operations further up the mountain.
"We'll have the Pistol chairlift open today and we're making snow on Gunsmoke trail of the top of he mountain so we can open it on Thursday," said General Manager Gregg Goddard. The area had opened briefly earlier this month but was closed over Christmas due to record high December temperatures which prevented snowmaking.
He said that Gunstock had received about 6 inches of snow by Tuesday afternoon with as much as eight inches at higher elevations.
"With all of the natural snow and what we're able to make we're looking at going into the weekend with lots of trails open," said Goddard.
Opening for the first time this winter is Bolduc Park on the Laconia-Gilford town line which will have its cross-country trails open for vacationing students at 11 a.m. today.
Laconia police reported only one minor skidding accident through mid-afternoon on Tuesday and traced that to cautious driving by motorists.
Laconia Public Works Director Paul Moynihan said that the city received 4 to 5 inches of snow and that crews started applying salt shortly after 1:15 a.m. when they received a call from police alerting them to the need for the roads to be treated.
"We had four salt trucks on the road within a half four. It takes them about four hours to cover all 85 miles of roads in the city. They switched over to plowing at 5 a.m. in the morning and have been at it ever since," said Moynihan late yesterday afternoon.
He said that forecasts called for the snow to end by around 7 p.m. last night.
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