‘Preparing for the Worst, Hoping for the Best’ Grand Forks Gets Ready for Snow

A hardware store owner had to quadruple his inventory to keep up with customer demand

GRAND FORKS, N.D. — The owner of this Grand Forks hardware store wasn’t too surprised at how his day started.

“We sold one right — first transaction this morning was a snow blower, so that’s nice,” said Brandon Buckalew.

With the first snowfall of winter trickling down, business at Hardware Hank has been anything but slow.

“It’s not a browsing atmosphere right now. It’s a, ‘I need to get what I need to get and get back home.'”

Although business is doing well, he says the timing could’ve been better.

“We were just getting ready for winter, so I ordered one of each shovel on Saturday, just so we could set up the wall of shovels, and then I got the forecast on Sunday, so I called corporate and said ‘I need a second truck.'”

In fact, Buckalew had to quadruple his inventory to keep up with the demand.

But the challenges of preparing for the season don’t just affect local business owners.

Grand Forks City Street Supervisor Blake Beckstead says the biggest issue for his office is predicting when to send out maintenance crews.

As people get their shovels handy and snow blowers tuned, they say being prepared for the first snowfall is about more than just machinery.

“You have to make sure that your body’s in decent shape. A lot of people, myself included, it’s like driving in the first snowfall, people getting out, sometimes they overdo, so when you start shoveling wet snow, that’s not necessarily a good thing, so you just have to mindful, I think, of taking care of yourself,” said John Rieth of Grand Forks.

After living here for more than 20 years, Rieth knows there’s a long road ahead of him.

“I think when you have an excess, you never get used to that. It’s just a lot of work getting on top of it, but the fact that it’s going to snow, yeah, that’s just part of living here.”

He says we’re just getting started.

Beckstead says crews likely won’t begin plowing until early tomorrow morning.

Categories: Community, Local News, North Dakota News