State and private snow removal businesses prepare for first snowfall

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(ABC 6 News) – It’s the time of the year where roads become snowy and icy. The Minnesota Department of Transportation has been preparing for several days.

The state is prepping their snowplows and asking staff to be on standby. Mike Dougherty, our district’s MnDOT representative, says the state isn’t feeling the impacts of the worker and supply shortages – meaning roads should be safe to drive on for now.

"We received all our salt last June so we were ready. They’ll be loaded up if they need to do any pre-treating depending on how the temperatures are. Moisture. They’ll look at all of that," Dougherty said.

But private snow removal companies are suffering from the shortages. Rochester business Alex’s Lawn Care says that they’ve tried everything: job postings, social media, word of mouth. They just can’t seem to find workers.

"We’ve got a big big struggle now. Honestly I don’t want to take any more because I don’t know how I might do them," said Roberto Pena, the owner of Alex’s Lawn Care Tree Service and Snow Removal.

Pena said he’s afraid to accept more contracts because he’s already running behind. Local neighborhoods and apartment buildings could see more snow pile-ups.