Winter weather, holiday shopping calls for busy weekend - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Winter weather, holiday shopping calls for busy weekend

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The winter weather expected to hit eastern Iowa Saturday night into Sunday morning is not stopping holiday shoppers at Lindale Mall.

The Saturday before Christmas is traditionally the busiest shopping day of the season.

With Christmas only about four days away, the potential snowfall moving into eastern Iowa could push shoppers back even more.

The general manager at Lindale Mall in Cedar Rapids says traffic was heavy throughout the mall since it opened at 10 a.m. Saturday, with shoppers trying to beat the storm.

Susan Jolly, from Waterloo, is glad she beat the storm. She's returned home from an 11-day cruise in the Panama Canal, with colder temperatures and snowfall expected.

She say's she's not prepared.

"Kind of sad," said Jolly. "In a way, but I'm from Iowa so I'm expecting it one way or another. So I have to take the good with the bad.

While she's not prepared for the winter storm, the Cedar Rapids Public Works Department is.

They say Saturday night and Sunday morning, they'll have a 12-member crew monitoring the roads and responding when necessary.

"We will be responding as the storm comes in," said Craig Hanson with public works. "We'll be here around the clock and from that point we'll be here all the way through Monday with around the clock once we start this effort so that we're able to make it happen."

Hanson says Sunday morning, they will have a full staff working more than 16 hours to make sure the roads are safe for last minute holiday shoppers and everyone else.

Public works began planning for winter storms like this one, several months in advance.

"This isn't just something you start in October or November, we start all the way back in April when I start counting how many blades I have left from last season," said Hanson.

Hanson adds that during the late spring and early summer months they began ordering sand, salt, and snow plow blades to make sure they're ready.

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