Bad weather creates shortage of snow shovels and ice melt in Hamilton


HAMILTON, Mont. - If you're in the market for snow shovels or ice melt you might have found them to be in short supply.

There's been a rush on winter products.

Evans' Ace Hardware in Hamilton says bad weather throughout the region has forced its suppliers to ration inventory.

On Thursday, the truck carrying a new supply of winter stuff arrived.

But consumers who want to keep walks and driveways clear need to be early birds.

All this snow reminds Sergio Ghersetti of Doctor Zhivago, that old movie with all the snow in Russia.

When Evans' got its new shipment of snow shovels he was first in line to buy a new one.

He broke his old one.

Clerk Russell Vincent said snow shovels tend to sell out the first day of getting them off the trucks.

Ice melt is in high demand.

The store gets a new supply in twice a week, and it's usually out before the next truck even shows up.

"They're only rationing so much for each store," said general manager Chris Smith,"because of the weather, and they cover the whole northwest so all the northwest is getting it just as bad."

Some customers asked for rain checks to make sure they got their de-icer.

Others just get there early.

In a pinch, they've been using a product used in water softener.

"When we were out of ice melt," said Glenn Wilson," this happened to be a good substitute."

Also selling well in this cold, snowy weather is bird seed.