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Snowfall puts CdA in record territory

If you think there’s a lot of snow in Coeur d’Alene, you’re not just being a sissy.

This winter is the snowiest in the Lake City’s history, with 127 inches falling as of Tuesday night. The previous record came during the winter of 1915-‘16, when 124.2 inches blanketed the area, according to KREM meteorologist Randy Mann, who writes a weather column for The Spokesman-Review.

“The snow is up to our necks,” he said.

In contrast, Spokane has gotten about 70 inches – nowhere near the record 93.5 inches that fell in 1949-‘50.

John Montandon, owner of Ace Hardware in Coeur d’Alene, said his sales are “without a doubt” the highest he’s seen.

“Anytime it snows deep it helps the hardware business,” Montandon said. “We got shovels in yesterday and we still have a few, but we’re running out.”

While booming sales may keep business owners like Montandon happy, the heavy snow has caused headaches for city street crews and law enforcement.

“There’s very little patrol time for the patrol officers right now,” said Coeur d’Alene police Sgt. Christie Wood.

Calls about abandoned and snowed-in vehicles have skyrocketed, and the manpower to respond to them all just isn’t there, Wood said.

“We can only hope that the neighbors are taking care of each other,” she said.

Coeur d’Alene Mayor Sandi Bloem said she’s noticed more neighbors helping one another deal with the heavy snow.

“It feels like community to me as much as anything because everybody slows down,” she said. “You have to.”

Before this winter, Coeur d’Alene students hadn’t been excused from school because of snow in at least six years. This winter, they’ve had three snow days.

“It’s been a significant disruption,” said Harry Amend, superintendent of the Coeur d’Alene School District.

The district has hired a private contractor to clear snow from school parking lots during nights. Custodial crews have also worked overnight to clear the lots and sidewalks.

Now, with warmer temperatures on the horizon, the big question is how bad will the flooding be, Bloem said.

“This is a lot of snow that has to go somewhere,” she sad. “We need to brace for that, also.”

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