Winter is on its way but are Vermonters ready for the snow?

Maybe it’s your favorite season. Maybe, you’ve been in denial that Vermont is about to be covered in snow and sticks until April. But love it or hate it, winter
Published: Nov. 21, 2022 at 6:06 AM EST
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Maybe it’s your favorite season. Maybe you’ve been in denial that Vermont is about to be covered in snow and sticks until April. But love it or hate it, winter is here.

You can’t talk about winter in Vermont without considering the roads we drive on every day. VTrans said that this year they’re already stocked up with 120,000 tons of road salt. And Biben’s Ace Hardware in South Burlington also has a good stock of winter supplies. But both said that if the pandemic taught them one thing, it’s that supply can certainly be unpredictable.

Angie Conforti of Williston browsed Bibens Ace Hardware in South Burlington to kick off the winter. But she knows she’ll be back at the store soon.

“I won’t worry about the driveway yet, I think we’ve got a few more weeks, hopefully,” said Conforti.

Sand tubes, snow blowers, Christmas decorations, snow shovels, and of course, rock salt are taking over the shelves.

“We go through that by the by the gazillions,” said Greg Bibens, the general manager of Bibens Ace Hardware.

Bibens says this winter, they have all the products they need on the shelves because they made sure to order everything ahead of schedule. But he says even without supply chain issues, it’s hard to know what will be the hot item of the winter. Demand was also unpredictable this fall.

“The leaf bags this year were out of control. We couldn’t keep them in stock. So I don’t know if more leaves fell this year or something, I don’t know, or more trees came out of nowhere,” said Bibens.

In the same way they thought ahead to navigate supply chain issues, he says he’s noticed customers are doing the same, despite an unusually warm fall.

“We had people asking for snowblowers, you know, when we’re still warm out. We had people ask for Christmas lights and we’re still warm out. So I think everything just kind of keeps moving earlier and earlier,” said Bibens.

While you’re getting your rock salt, VTrans has theirs ready to go. Their sheds are full and the supply they have is expected to last for three-quarters of the winter. They also put in orders frequently. Todd Law of VTrans notes there is the potential risk of a rail strike which could have an impact on availability.

“That’s a concern of our vendors and of us, and again, that’s why we want to make sure that our sheds are full, to give us at least a majority of what we need for the expected need in an average year,” said Law.

Law says to not crowd the plows because they go around 25-30 mph, and you should always give yourself extra time if the weather is looking extra snowy or icy.