MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — When a Minnesota fall is filled with 60 degrees and sun, the last thing on most people’s minds is shovels and salt. In fact, at Frattallone’s Ace Hardware in Columbia Heights shovel shipments are still rolling in.
“This is the switch. Almost this hour, we’ve watched people go from bags to shovels. It’s going to be crazy. We’ll be stocked, we’ll be ready. The salt, the shovels, and the snow blowers will be flying out the door,” said store manager Eric Hoffman.
Marcie Anderson isn’t taking any chances. She bought some traction in the form of grit for her daughter, a college student in Duluth. She is bringing the necessities up north along with a few extras.
“In my car, I’ve also got two sleds for her too so we are bringing up fun and work,” said Anderson.
But not everyone thinks we are in the path of the storm. Steve Nerheim got his snow blowers ready on Thursday but doesn’t think he will have to use them just yet.
“So, this thing is going to skirt right around us,” said Nerheim.
Kowalski’s Market staff on Grand Avenue in St. Paul reported busier crowds than usual, with people stocking up for the weekend, a move to avoid errands on messy roads. The store manager says they plan to have a full staff working over the weekend to accommodate customers.
Greg Bauer owns Gregie’s Small Engine Repair on South Griggs Street in St. Paul, and says his phone is ringing off the hook. He repaired more than a dozen snow blowers Friday alone and predicts Saturday will be twice as busy.
The biggest problem Bauer says he sees is that people leave old gas in their snow blowers from last winter. He reminds people to fill their machines with new gas and start it to make sure it works before the snow falls this weekend.
MnDOT says they have crews poised and ready, and plow drivers will work in 12 hour shifts once the snow starts to fall.
Minneapolis snow emergency crews say they have around 1,500 miles of road way to plow in Minneapolis alone. Road crews ask for driver patience this weekend, and they ask drivers to slow down, stay at least five car lengths behind snow plows and stay alert, because plows can turn or exit with little warning.