North shore preps for snow, and frigid temps don't help

CREATED Dec. 13, 2013

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MEQUON - There's more snow, more cold - and cautious optimism in Mequon.

Friday's forecast for an additional 2-6 inches along the lake comes less than a week after a bitter blast already smothered the area with a half foot of snow and arctic temperatures.

This new roar of winter also arrives less than two weeks before Christmas - a prime time for weekend gift shoppers.

"I'm hoping people have the Christmas spirit where the snow is not going to scare them," quips Anna Zuckerman, who owns a toy store. "I'm making the decision to stay open later and on Sunday. If the clients go shop online, they won't get their gifts by Christmas.

Mequon city plows will undoubtedly be out in full force this weekend to make sure parents can withstand Mother Nature's latest blow, but the cold temperatures add challenges: common mixtures of rock salt doesn't work when the temperature drops to 5 degrees or lower.

"People don't realize that in the 1920's is when we used salt on the roads first, and it wasn't used to melt the snow," hardware salesman Larry Boyer explains to TODAY'S TMJ4 (Boyer is also a trained geologist). "It was used to make sure the ice didn't freeze to the road surface so when the guys plowed, it didn't take chunks of the road up."

There are other mixtures of rock salt available - some that can withstand temperatures down to -25 degrees, but those products cost at least four times as much as the more common mixtures.