Cold March has businesses, outdoors lovers itching for spring weather

By  | 

EAU CLAIRE, Wisc. (WEAU) - One of the coldest marches on record is almost over, but dealing with snow and ice is not.

It's been eight degrees colder than normal according to WEAU meteorologists, but with snow starting to melt, many people in Eau Claire said they're excited to see the grass grow.

At Down to Earth Garden Center in Eau Claire, plowing snow and a packed greenhouse are taking up time and space. Vice President of Retail Operations Ben Polzin said the coldest Mar. in more than 15 years is limiting sales and service work.

“There's just a quarter of what typically would be here is here. Or it's on a pallet and packed up until it can warm up,” Polzin said.

“This year it's completely different. We're actually plowing snow out of here to make room just so we can start setting up and working. We're about four weeks behind last year at this time.” “People are coming into the store kinda seeing what's new to get the feel for spring,” he said.

Also suffering through the snow; golf courses, like Pine Meadow in Eau Claire.

“We've lost at least four to five weeks of playable time with this lingering snow,” Pine Meadow General Manager Jody Anderson said.

With 23 more inches of snow than last Mar., Eau Claire Lawn Equipment staff say their sales are being delayed, but aren't lost.

“A lot of our customers really haven't been thinking about the lawn mowing side of things yet,” Sales Manager Jason Kistner said.

“If a person needs a mower or knew they needed a mower last year, they'll still be looking for a new mower,” he said.

As temperatures creep to the 50s, many who rely on spring said they are being optimistic.

“I hope we can open by Apr. 15 and that it isn't pushed closer and closer to May,” Anderson said.

“Just to be able to see green grass in a few places would definitely make a big difference for us,” Kistner said.

“We can't control the weather, we'll take what we can get,” Polzin said.

It's been the ninth coldest Mar. on record, but Polzin said temperatures in the 50s are best for a slow and steady melt.