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South county shows lessons learned from last winter


As snow returns to the High Desert, it’s bringing flashbacks of last winter with it. It seems like after the record-breaking snowfall many of us saw, everyone is preparing for anything this time around.

“Last winter was horrific. It was something I’d never seen. It caused anxiety and depression really bad. I had to go to the doctor and take some medication for it,” William Reeder said Friday.

“It’s the worst I’ve seen, and everyone I talked to said it’s the worst they’ve seen in about 30 years,” Justin Bloom said.

La Pine stores have shelves stocked with shovels, snow rakes and other snow supplies. Employees said last year, everything was flying off the shelves.

“We could not keep stuff in stock last year,” said Joel Mersereau, a department manager at Ace Hardware in La Pine. “Last year, we’d get a truckload in — and by the end of the day, or by the next day, it was gone. We were as shocked as everyone. Our warehouse ran out a couple times.”

Mersereau said they’ve beefed up orders this year. And people are also avoiding a mistake they made last winter. Many waited too long to get snow supplies; this year they’re getting ahead of the game. Mersereau said he’s been selling shovels for about six weeks, and he sold his first snow thrower in September.

The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office has the same message of preparedness as people hit the road this holiday season.

“We just want to make sure the public has their vehicles ready for winter driving,” Sgt. William Bailey said. “Make sure their fluids are topped off, their windshield wipers and tires are ready for any weather they may encounter in Central Oregon.”

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