"Where's the snow?"

Thursday, January 19, 2012

There is a financial benefit to the snowless winter so far, PennDOT and home improvement stores have a surplus of salt and snow removal supplies.

No one's complaining, except maybe the kids who have had no snow days and a few snow contractors, but January is quickly coming to an end, and this winter has been virtually snowless.

If the salt used by PennDOT to melt snow and ice off roadways is any indication, the last few winters have had pretty significant snow falls.

In the winter of 2008-2009, workers used 80,586 tons. In 2009-2010, they used 142,738 tons; a record high, and last winter-another whopper, 134,516 tons.

In fact, PennDOT almost blew their snow and ice budget. So what's going this year compared to last?

"This time last year, based on January 19th, we had used 54,000 tons of salt. As we stand today in the five-county Philadelphia region, PennDOT has spread 7,300 tons of salt," explained Gene Blaum.

PennDOT has just rolled out all this new beautiful snow removal equipment to combat the snow and ice, but they haven't been able to use it.

And that explains why there is a large surplus of salt, shovels, and other snow and ice removal equipment and products at area hardware stores. So what are customers buying instead?

"It just gives our customers a chance to work on other opportunities in their homes and other areas, whether it is painting or home improvements on the inside of their house, they are given other opportunities to do that," said Charlie Stanley from Home Depot.

But many people are asking where's the snow?

"It's back in Pittsburg," said Jason Riley.

"It's out west, it's in Seattle where it belongs," says Dan Kelly.

"We had a nice snow in October in the southern part of Pennsylvania," said Greg Miller. "Trust me, I got stuck in it."

"I hope the snow stays where it is," says Tracy Dubose. "The weather's been beautiful."

Most people are not missing the snow. Contractors on the other hand, enjoyed three years feasting on snow removal, now they are seeing a famine.

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