No business like snow business

By WEEK Producer

February 27, 2013 Updated Feb 27, 2013 at 8:20 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- Business has suddenly picked up at some Peoria auto body shops.

"I've done several estimates this morning for people who got hit or slid off the road," said Bob Pohl, the owner of Maaco Collision Repair and Auto Finishing. "It certainly puts a spike in business for the week."

In fact, Pohl says car accidents on slick roads have easily made this their busiest week since last summer. Thirty jobs have already been lined up and he expects it to accelerate.

"Right now the calls are starting to trickle in from the insurance companies. That work will start showing up over the next week or two," said Pohl.

Meanwhile, at Wieland's Lawn Mower Hospital they're finally selling snow blowers. But not nearly as many as usual.

During an average winter Wieland's sells 300 snow blowers. This season? Only about 75 so far.

But they've moved a few more this week. And they're getting calls to repair snow blowers from people having trouble getting them started.

"The guys who have been getting lawn mowers ready for the spring are fixing snow blowers now," explained Phil Maher of Wieland's. "Plus, the pick up and deliver guy who was picking up mowers for these guys to get ready for spring are picking up snow blowers now."

At area hardware stores sales are piling up with the snow. Shovels and salt are finally in demand.

"The salt is the first thing they come for. They're worried about the ice and slipping on the driveway or the sidewalk. Then the shovels follow pretty closely behind," said store employee Julie Mayer.

Over a 48-hour period the store sold about 3,000 pounds of salt. And now that there's snow for the kids to play in people are finally buying sleds.