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From snowblowers to private snowplows, Northeast Ohio prepares for winter storm

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Posted at 10:46 PM, Jan 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-31 23:24:26-05

CLEVELAND — The phone is ringing off the hook at T & S Power Equipment in Olmsted Falls and there’s one common item customers are asking for: snowblowers.

“I needed a new snowblower. I can’t wait,” said customer Richard Murphy.

Sam Pulice with T & S said he has snowblowers in stock, but with most of the big box stores out of stock, they’re selling fast.

“What I have is what I have,” he said. “Unfortunately supply and demand is not there, I can’t get them as fast as I want. My next shipment will be late February I should be getting some more in but after that, it could be as late as May and June before I see any more snowblowers.”

People are preparing for the upcoming winter storm that will be hitting Northeast Ohio in the next few days.

“I don’t think cost is an issue, anymore, they’re tired of dealing with it and whatever the snowblower cost, they’re going to buy it and make sure they’re prepared,” he said.

David Lowe can sympathize. His phone is also ringing off the hook as the owner of Third Generation, a landscaping and snow removal company.

“It takes us days to get ready,” said Lowe. “We grease the trucks, check the gas, get salt ready, get crews ready.”

While he’s preparing for new snow, he said he is still busy dealing with the aftermath of the storm that hit a couple of weeks ago. Lowe said in places like Cleveland and Old Brooklyn, some of the residential and side streets are still not great, so people aren’t waiting for the city, they’re calling him.

“I’ve had people flag me down and offer me hundreds of dollars to plow a patch of their road or their driveway,” he said.

He said a lot of people are complaining about the build-up of snow on the sidewalks or parking spots from city plows, and when that snow has turned to hard ice, it makes his job tougher.

“You’re supposed to remove the snow with a machine, snow hauling machine,” he said. “Bus routes and sidewalks should be done. It’s a hazard.”

He hopes cities, like Cleveland, and private plow companies can work together in the future.

“Maybe you should hire independent contractors to do sidewalk removal, or shoveling, or street plowing,” said Lowe. “Hire a subcontractor to do some snow hauling.”