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Snow good for some businesses

2/21/2013

By JUDY SHERARD and GAYLE WEBER

The Hays Daily News

Snow shovels were at the top of the list for most shoppers Wednesday and Thursday in northwest Kansas.

Shovels, tube sand and sleds were popular items at Westlake Ace Hardware on Wednesday, said Wendy Webber, the store manager.

Wednesday morning, the store had three snow blowers.

“It was nice to see the last one go out the door, until the next person came in and wanted one,” she said.

Webber wasn’t concerned, though. The store had plenty of shovels and is expecting a delivery of more snow blowers and other supplies today.

Business was slower Thursday with just a few people drifting in needing snow supplies, she said.

Repair parts for snow blowers were a big seller at True Value Hardware in Plainville, said Carol Hansen, one of the store managers.

Hansen said her husband, Charlie, was out early Thursday morning helping with repairs on the machines.

“The ice melt had been put away thinking (it was time) to get ready for spring,” she said.

Area farmers are busy with calving, and many came in Wednesday to get supplies and prepare to be snowed in for a few days, Hansen said.

“It’s kind of late in the season” to sell many snow blowers, said Alice Ruder, owner of Serendipity-Gamble in Hill City.

Snow shovels were a different matter, though. They were a popular item, and she expects she could sell out of sleds with youngsters out of school.

Hill City didn’t have ice, so ice melt hasn’t been a hot item, but long-handled brushes and ice scrapers for cars have been, Ruder said.

Removing snow also is a commercial job, and G&L Landscape in Hays started moving snow at 5 a.m. Thursday.

Clinton Long, co-owner of the business, said his 4-wheel drive tractor and trucks driven by other members of his crew were taking care of commercial property owners, with calls from residences coming throughout the day Thursday.

“I think it will be even more once people get out and see how bad it is,” Long said, noting he estimated there was 16 inches of snow on the ground by early Thursday afternoon.

“It’s getting deep and it’s getting snow-packed and slick on the roads,” he said. “It’s going to get so deep that pickups or anything aren’t going to be able to push it anymore.”

Long estimated his crews would continue to move snow all day today.