Janesville57.3°

Snow build-up could be gone by end of week

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Stacy Vogel
January 2, 2008
— Janesville saw its second-highest December snowfall total on record at the end of 2007, but all that snow could be gone within the first week of 2008.

Forecasters are predicting temperatures in the 40s over the weekend and close to 50 Monday, said Chris Franks with the National Weather Service in Sullivan.


If that’s not enough to melt the snow, drizzle over the weekend probably will finish the job, Franks said.


“I really think that most of (the snow) will be gone,” he said.


Janesville received 28.5 inches of snow in December, making it the second-snowiest December since 1948. The snowiest December came in 2000 with 35.2 inches.


All that snow and the accompanying ice has created a salt shortage, local store managers said.


Last winter, Dave’s Ace Hardware in Milton and Evansville sold 600 50-pound bags of melting salt, owner Dave Warren said. This winter, the stores already had sold more than 1,000 bags by Dec. 2.


“We have zero in stock in our Milton store,” he said, adding that the Evansville store received a shipment Monday.


Managers of Woodman’s Markets in Janesville and Beloit said they’re experiencing shortages, too. The Beloit store has limited the number of bags customers can buy when salt is scarce, a manager said.


“They can’t really bag it up and ship it fast enough,” the manager of the Janesville store said.


Some customers have been buying water-softener salt to melt their ice instead, Warren said.


It’s a little more expensive than melting salt but works the same way, he said.


The warm weather should eliminate that problem for now, but it creates a concern of its own, Franks said.


The snow on the ground could turn into an inch or more of water as it melts, which might cause minor flooding in spots, he said.


John Whitcomb, Janesville operations director, said the city plans to clear snow out of corner sewer basins in the next few days to prevent back-ups.


The city typically doesn’t see river overflows at this time of the year, but Whitcomb’s not sure what will happen if all the accumulated snow melts quickly, he said.


“I don’t know really what to expect at this point,” he said.



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