Winter Storms Tests Iowans Who Prepared and Those Who Didn’t

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- Central Iowans had time to get ready for this snow but as always, some were more ready than others.

Around 6pm Saturday evening, the city’s 100 snow removal trucks hit the streets. Des Moines Public Works Director, Jonathan Gano, says the city began treating the streets with salt on Thursday and continued to do so during the first phase of the storm.

“We’ll be putting down salt within that first hour while the payment is freezing and we’ll take advantage of the rain to melt the salt to put some residual ice melting on the roads.”

Gano anticipates this storm will need extra manpower once the snow accumulates and that it will take longer to clear due to the rate at which the snow is falling. However he says, “we expect it to be largely complete certainly with the major roads before Monday morning rush hour.”

However those out and about today were a little less prepared. Grocery stores were busy with shoppers stocking up for both the Super Bowl and the snow storm.

“It’s excellent timing. Its Saturday and we`ll get snowed in and we don`t have to go to work tomorrow,” Kendra Colbert says as she checked out at the Dahl’s on Ingersoll Avenue.

With party snacks in cart, shoppers were also after the essentials; milk, bread and eggs.

“Just stocking up for the weather. I don`t want to have to go back out in this once the storm hits,” says Misty Carder.

However, hardware and snow appliance stores were surprisingly quiet. Owner of Miller’s Hardware store, Denny Halbfass, says business has been slow due to the lack of snow this year. On a good year, he sells 75 snow blowers. So far this year, only 25 have sold. Halbfass hoped Saturday’s storm would bring in more customers.

“It hurts our business because we are not selling shovels, blowers, ice melt. Anything associated with winter; we’re not selling, so it kind of hurts us.”