The Northland Prepares For Looming Winter Storm

The public is advised to be careful when snow plows are on the roads.

DULUTH, Minn. – For the most part, the St. Louis County Public Works Department is ready as early as fall for handling winter storms.

Whenever a storm is in the forecast crews go through all of the equipment to make sure everything is cleaned and greased.

They also check the plow edges for wear and tear.

“This garage, we have 16 plow routes,” said St. Louis County Public Works Department Highway Division Superintendent Gordy Halverson.

Crews will go out early to get a head start beginning with the black top roads.

“Generally we start at 4 a.m. if there’s snow or ice in the evening we’ll try to stay late until after the bulk of the evening commute is done,” said Halverson.

No matter what comes this way, workers are up for the task.

“It just depends on the amount of snow, the timing, how much is ice, if there is any,” said Halverson. “There may be some freezing rain that may impact how we do things.”

When asked just how much snow these trucks can handle, here’s your answer.

“We can handle anything nature throws at us,” said Halverson.  The Public Works Department will have a lot of ground to cover with their plows, close to 3,000 miles.

On the other hand, heavy snow is good news if you’re in the snowmobile business.

Duluth Lawn & Sport is ready for a big snowfall.

“It’s been really good, early freeze not always what people like to see, but it’s good hard pack, good base layer for riding conditions and hopefully it’ll carry us a long way into the spring,” said Salesman Chris Gassert.

Staff tells us just as one customer comes in looking for a snowmobile another one comes in search of a snow blower.

“I expect this week with the pending snowstorm we’ll be moving a lot out the door for our customers,” said Gassert.

Many customers are anxious to do some snowmobiling.

“We still got great deals going on for people and now with the snow storm coming on people are coming through the door excited to take their snowmobile out, even us salesmen, we get out there too and we’re really excited about it,” said Gassert.

But be careful, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) says five to seven inches is the minimum ice thickness to snowmobile on safely.

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