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Residents and business owners voice frustration with winter weather

Road crews with Columbia Public Works and the Missouri Department of Transportation have been working almost constantly to clear the roads after winter weather.

According to a press release, plow crews with the city of Columbia finished 56.5 hours of continuous work Sunday.

On top of clearing the streets, workers have also had to keep up with maintenance needs on the vehicles.

Jason Shafer, from MoDOT, said as a result of the weather mid-Missouri has had this winter, two trucks rolled and may not be repairable. He also said crews are working to grease dump trucks and perform oil changes.

Barry Dalton, from Columbia Public Works, also said crews are working to keep up with maintenance, and the department is getting a new shipment of salt to treat the roads with on Monday.

Residents and business owners in Columbia are also feeling the effects of the snow and ice, and many say they are frustrated with the weather.

Travis McGuire lives and works in Columbia. He said the snow and ice has kept him from doing some of the things he likes.

“I mean, it makes it hard to get out and do stuff, obviously, like hiking or biking,” McGuire said.

He said the changing weather has made it difficult to keep up with maintenance at home.

“You have to, like, shovel at the right time so that when it melts, it doesn’t refreeze,” he said. “So that’s been difficult to keep, like, the walkways completely ice-free and, like, safe for my kid and my wife.”

He said it is also difficult to get around on his street after snow because he does not live on a priority route, so it is not one of the first streets to be plowed.

Kelsey Hammond owns Yellow Dog Bookshop downtown with her husband. They also live in Columbia.

Hammond said she is tired of the winter weather because it makes it difficult to get around.

“We live at the bottom of a very big hill, so it’s always a comedy routine to try to get us out of our neighborhood to come here to open,” she said.

“We actually had a power outage that lasted all day in the first sort of really big snow. That was not fun with no internet, and I didn’t know what I was going to do with myself,” she said.

She said the weather has also had an effect on business.

“Definitely less people come out when it’s, you know, terrible snow, and people are not wanting to get into their cars because it’s terrible to drive anywhere,” Hammond said. “So there’s a drop-off in sales, for sure, but people do at the same time, I think, seek out a bookstore when it’s cold because they’re like, ‘Yeah, I’m stir-crazy, I need to read something,’ so that’s helpful.”

She said the winter weather has required some extra planning on their part and has even affected their store hours a few times.

“We own our own store, so we are the ones who have to come in and make sure if it’s open, we want to make sure the sidewalks are salted, just in case people are venturing out,” Hammond said.

“This winter feels, like, interminable. So for some reason, it just feels that much worse, like we just keep getting slapped, and it’s terrible,” she said.

Munir Mohammad owns Shortwave Coffee downtown. He said his employees have also had to work to keep up with the weather, both inside and outside.

“It’s a long alley in front of us, so people have to be able to walk down safely. And then inside is another issue. A lot of the snow gets tracked in, and then it ends up, you know, being wet inside,” Mohammad said.

He said the winter weather has not stopped many people from coming to the shop and has maybe even encouraged people to visit.

“A lot of our customers actually really want to come down here. So, like, they’ll call us ahead of time, see if we’re open, and they’ll make the trek,” he said. “I think a lot of people, you know, kind of get tired of being at home. They want, like, a nice, warm, cozy place to be, and they’ll come to Shortwave.”

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