No Substitute for a Snow Shovel

I got a big reaction to this Tweet this afternoon: 
Just so everyone understands the limitations of science—you can’t melt 6 inches of snow with chemicals. Try a shovel.

Many people agreed with me. @sethburr chimed in with:

AND btw, a squeegee or broom does not = a shovel!

I try not to overplay the “I know winter because I grew up in Canada” card. But seriously—no matter how much ice melt you buy at Home Depot it’s not a substitute for getting out a shovel and clearing the snow away.

Still, I saw plenty of people trying as I walked home this afternoon. As the snow fell in New York the temperature was just below freezing, so the ice melt chemicals at least had a chance of helping. The stuff does have a purpose in keeping sidewalks clear for a while after they’re scraped. But some manual labor with the snow shovel is something you can’t escape in a big snowstorm. And it’s better for the environment.

Now, perhaps someone else has an answer to a question I ask every time we send a NY1 crew to a hardware store ahead of a storm. How could there possibly be so many people buying snow shovels before each storm? Do they throw them out after the previous storm thinking it will be the last?


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