Bozeman locals, city officials prepare for arctic invasion
BOZEMAN, Mont. - Many folks on Main Street were bundled up, battling wind and fat snowflakes as they headed down the sidewalk, Thursday afternoon. With predictions for an arctic blast, city officials and Bozeman residents are making sure they're ready. Many folks on Main Street were bundled up, battling wind and fat snowflakes as they headed down the sidewalk, Thursday afternoon. With predictions for an arctic blast, many Bozeman locals are making sure they're winter ready. "From snow shovels, ice scrapers for windshields, ice melt for sidewalks, gloves," says Owenhouse Ace Hardware Manager Ron Banta. Banta says they've already re-stocked their shovels a couple times, Thursday, and they're expecting they'll do it again before the day's over. "Got a lot of concrete, a lot of driveways, a lot of sidewalks so, I've got wider shovels for the big stuff and this is for the small corners," says Bozeman resident Mark Zetler, as he holds up his two new shovels. Some say they're looking forward to the snow. "I'm not ready for the lack of green and the brown landscape but I am ready for the snow so, I figured, let's prepare for it," says Bozeman resident Sean Faris. Faris says he has the leaves picked up, the yard ready to go and the sand bags in his truck...And now, he has a sled for his 8-month-old son. "He's not quite walking yet so, I figured this would be a good way to introduce him to the winter of this year," says Fairs. Folks with the City of Bozeman are making preparations of their own. They've tuned up their five snow plows to ensure they're ready when the time comes. The plows and trucks are scheduled to set out at 3AM and travel around 500 miles on their four hour trek, covering all of the main arterials and collectors around town hitting extra slippery spots with sand for traction. "We do all of the intersections and the hills- Highland and Kagy," says Bozeman Street Superintendent John VanDelinder. VanDelinder showed us the newest truck in his fleet. Friday will be its first expedition. "There's no plow out front, it's underneath. It still sands the same way and everything but we think it's going to be a lot better. A lot more maneuverable. We can get the routes done, maybe a little quicker and safer," explains VanDelinder. While the streets will be clear by the time most folks head out for work in the morning, VanDelinder says crashes always happen with the first big storm so, it's important to be extra careful. "Go slow. Take your time. Get your car warmed up. Get the windows clean and watch out for the other drivers and, if you can, leave a little bit later," says VanDelinder. They've eliminated the issue of using snow plow trucks to pick up leaves by converting old garbage trucks for leaf clean-up. The problem is, they're not done picking up leaves. City officials say, if they get enough snow, they'll have to plow the residential streets but they will try not to plow raked leaves back onto the boulevards unless they have to.