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Grand Rapids digs out Friday morning after massive snowfall

A flood of people are showing up at repair shops hoping to have their snow blowers fixed, after pulling them out for the first time of the season
GR Snow digging out sled
Posted at 5:55 PM, Feb 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-05 18:40:01-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Folks were out in full force Friday morning digging out their driveways and vehicles by any means necessary, with some finding that their snowblowers aren't working as they pull them out for the first time this year.

People were showing up to Alger Hardware and Repair in Alger Heights every few minutes Friday afternoon with snowblowers that weren't working.

RELATED: Lakeshore among hardest area hit by snowfall; more on the way

"I would say there's a probably almost an even 50/50 split of people who get it ready for the season in, you know, October, November, December, and then the people who, when the snow hits, break out their machines and realize, 'Oh, it doesn't start,'" said manager Joel DeJong.

He says one of the most common issues they see are people who didn't clear out the gasoline from their snowblowers at the end of last season, with it gunking up their carburetor.

"It used to be you bought gas, and it was gas, and it kind of stayed gas," DeJong said.

"But the introduction of ethanol about, probably I think 6 or 7 years ago, means that that additive is basically what draws the moisture in from the air, and that's what eventually causes the gas to basically turn into water.

On top of that, he says they see a lot of snapped belts and items stuck inside the snow blowers.

RELATED: Side streets remain last priority for road crews working to clear major streets

"So, just a lot of fairly simple fixes, but when they all accumulate at once, it can make for a pretty busy time," he said Friday afternoon.

He recommends pulling your snowblower out around October or November to make sure it's still working properly.

Shannon LeCronier walked in to Alger Hardware Friday for two big bags of sand, after finding that her car was stuck in her driveway eight blocks away.

She pulled the bags of sand back on a sled.

“This is one of my children's sleds, and my car is stuck in my driveway even though I've cleared my driveway," she told FOX 17.

"So I walked to the local Alger hardware store, in Alger Heights, and bought a couple bags of sand, and I am dragging them home.”

Everyone is digging themselves out of the onslaught of winter in their own ways.

FORECAST: Continued snow with very cold temps

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