Snow falls, incomes rise

Winter weather ensures work for many

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Steady snowfall that blanketed Moffat County on Wednesday meant at least one thing to resident Jim Mannion: job security.

"I'm happy anytime I have to shovel twice in one snowstorm," said Mannion who was shoveling sidewalks Wednesday afternoon on Yampa Avenue, earning money through a temporary job service agency. Shoveling twice meant double the pay, he said.

"Mother Nature cooperates that way," Mannion laughed.

Total snow accumulations that were expected to reach from 4 to 7 inches through the night, according to the National Weather Service, also helped business at Hang Time Sports, said owner Bobby Haskins.

"When there's snow, people want their (snow machines)," he said. "The snow definitely brings people out."

Haskins said business was brisk Wednesday with residents brining in their machines for repairs or perusing the store for snowmobiling accessories.

In general, a healthy amount of snowfall is good for most businesses in Moffat County, said Cathy Vanatta, director of the Craig Chamber of Commerce.

"It helps as far as tourism goes," she said.

Unfortunately, a little bit more of the white stuff last weekend would have kept snowmobile races through the Mountain States Snowmobile Racing from being canceled for this weekend. The circuit's first races were shifted to Hot Sulphur Springs, though later races may be rescheduled in Craig.

Having the races in Craig could help local businesses with retail and hotel sales, Vanatta said.

Despite the snow-covered roads, Elwood Eisenhauser of Ike & Son Transmission and Auto Wrecking said the shop hadn't received any calls for towing service Wednesday. That was a stark difference from the area's first heavy snowfall of the year in November, when "cars were off the road everywhere," Eisenhauser said.

Instead, he said people trickled in to get their vehicles winterized.

Colorado State Patrol trooper Marty Smith said the department reported only one vehicle off the road early Wednesday. That's considerably less than the wrecks -- about 20 -- that the patrol reported from the area's first late- November snowstorm.

"Driving improves the longer they spend driving on the snow-covered roads," Smith said.

Smith cautioned drivers to slow down in winter conditions.

For example, driving a posted 65 mph speed limit may be excessive on icy or snowy roads.

Driving too fast also could earn drivers tickets for careless driving.

"It's the law to drive with true regard for the weather conditions," Smith said. "If yours is the only car sliding off the road, then you're obviously not driving slow enough."

Amy Hatten can be reached at 824-7031 or ahatten@craigdailypress.com.

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