Local Businesses Prepare as Blizzard Hits Twin Ports

DULUTH, Minn.– It was a winter wonderland Wednesday in Duluth. But while it’s keeping some people indoors for the time being, a handful of local businesses are geared up for their time to shine during the blizzard.

Starting on Wednesday afternoon, Duluth was hit with its first significant winter storm of the season.

“Well, I guess officially winter’s here I suppose,” said Casey Churchill, Assistant Manager at Burggraf’s Ace Hardware in Duluth.

Wind gusts reaching close to 50 miles an hour caused the waves to crash down along the shore in Canal Park. Up on Central Entrance, the snow gusts turned the intersection into a snow globe.

The weather impacted some businesses around Duluth. One shop ready to go is Thompson’s T Express in west Duluth. The towing and auto body shop has been helping get vehicles ready for winter. They’ve been adding snow tires onto cars and fixing any bumps and clunks as winter got closer. Along with giving a tow for those who get stuck.

After a slower start to the winter season with less travel and little snow, the auto shop is ready to see plenty of action during the blizzard that falls just days before Christmas.

“We’re staying quite busy. Just about every shop around here is going to be busy I guarantee it. The phone’s ringing off the hook right now as it is,” Tanner Classon, a Technician at Thompson’s said as the phone began to ring. “So, we’re doing what we can to try and keep up but yeah it’s busy.”

Across town, Burggraf’s Ace Hardware saw has been helping people stock up on crucial blizzard items like snow blowers and all kinds of salt and grit that are pet safe and good on concrete to keep their sidewalks ice free. Even some sleds for the kids to have some fun with the fresh snow.

But the biggest seller of the day was of course…

“Shovels. In general, people always just seem to need them,” said Churchill.

“We’ve had a pretty light winter up until now. So we had a pretty sufficient stock of supplies. So at the moment, in no danger of running out of anything.”

The store says it’s a yearly tradition seeing everyone come in and stock up on supplies to battle the elements. And as the snow continued throughout the day, businesses encouraged people to be safe and that Northlanders can handle a little, or a lot, of snow.

“We’re Minnesotans. It’s what we’re born and bred to do so we’ll get through it, we always do,” said Classon.

Both businesses stressed the importance of having items like jumper cables, shovels, and an emergency roadside kit in case of emergencies on the road.

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