Cleanup efforts underway after the first snow storm of 2015

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – For many New Englanders, there’s nothing quite like waking up to a white out. After admiring the winter wonderland, many of us lace up our snow boots, break out a shovel, and get to work.

Nicholas Delbuono of Springfield said he doesn’t mind shoveling. His least favorite part of snow storms is when it comes time to clear his car. “Just had to shovel a little bit and clean off the car. The car was more of a pain than the driveway was and the snow wasn’t too messy so it was easy to clean up,” he said.

Shoveling heavy, sticky snow, like western Massachusetts saw on Saturday can be dangerous. Many people in the past have injured their back or knees in trying to do so, which is why experts recommend pushing snow off the side when shoveling instead of lifting it up directly.

According to the BBC, at least one hundred Americans die each year while removing snow. Anyone over the age of 40 or with heart trouble should be especially careful. It can be helpful to take a few minutes to stretch before you start picking up any snow. Shoveling is a workout, and this can help prevent injury and fatigue.

For many local residents, snow removal at home isn’t their biggest concern during a storm.

West Springfield resident, Sue Laflamme told 22News the biggest hurdle she faces isn’t until she’s already out of her driveway. “I’m not a snow because I don’t like to drive in it, but because the roads are ok I did step out early this morning. The main roads seem to be fine but the side streets seemed to be very slippery, the sidewalks weren’t done. So if you stayed on the main streets at that time it was fine driving,” she said.

Driving on snow covered roads isn’t for everyone in Western Massachusetts. Believe it or not, some people choose to brave the storm without a car.

Lou Swiszcz told 22News he never lets a little bit of snow change his normal routine. “I walk 7 days a week, 365 days a year, so basically the weather doesn’t stop me. It’s warm today and I have my walking stick so this is actually enjoyable,” he said.

Whether you’re shoveling or taking a walk in the winter weather, wearing waterproof boots with good traction can be critical to preventing falls.

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