Snow removal supplies limited in Richmond

By Melissa Correa - bio | email
Posted by Phil Riggan – email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Its one job you have to check off your list as soon as possible -- scraping ice off sidewalks and driveways.

Avoiding the issue is dangerous and could get you sued. But, good luck finding supplies today.

By now, sidewalks in Richmond should be clear of snow and ice. It's a property owner's responsibility.  But at this point, if you don't have the supplies, you may be stuck with using a car scrapper.

"I think people are resigning themselves to the fact that if they waited this late that they're probably not going to get everything that they expected," said George Goldings of Pleasants Hardware.

Goldings says the weekend before Christmas crowds flocked -- not the malls -- but to his hardware store.

"Snow shovels, sleds, and ice melt," he said. "This is what the hardware stores needed was a boost right here with the economy kind of slow."

People, desperate to remove the slippery stuff are thinking outside the ice cube.

"Well, we've sold some gardening shovels and some grain shovels," Goldings said.  "And at this location, we're still selling a lot of sand because sand for traction is just as important as melting it."

No matter the tool, if you live in the city of Richmond, you better get that ice off your sidewalk. It's the law.

"You are responsible whether you're the homeowner or you're the tenant to remove the snow from that property," said \Sharon North, an official with City of Richmond\  "If it's a vacant lot then the person that owns it is technically responsible for the removal of that snow."

Even though the city maintains sidewalks, the snow shoveling responsibility lands on the property owner.  If someone falls outside your door, you could be sued. The deadline is six hours after the snow stops falling.

"So far this morning I have not gotten any calls.  And I hope that means that either people are complying or that no one has gotten hurt," North said.

If you want to complain about an un-shoveled sidewalk in Richmond call 3-1-1. It's a Class 4 misdemeanour with a $250 fine.

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