Weekend rains helped Michigan fruit producers

KALAMAZOO, MI – The storms that rolled through lower Michigan over the weekend uprooted trees, damaged buildings and left tens of thousands of homes and businesses without power.

But they also brought some much-needed rain to fruit growers in the southwestern Lower Peninsula whose orchards and vineyards suffered through a dry July.

The National Weather Service tells The Kalamazoo Gazette that more than 3.5 inches of rain fell at the Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport between Friday evening and Monday morning.

That's nearly 10 times as much precipitation as the area got all of last month.

Fruit growers in the region faced the prospect of smaller apples, peaches and grapes without the rain. It also provided relief to parched corn, soybean and alfalfa crops.