Hoosiers weary of winter weather
Despite a gorgeous day Monday, many people in downtown Indianapolis looked dour and weather-beaten.
"It is just getting overwhelming, just constantly having to think about the forecast and not go and do things freely," said Heather Foust.
At local grocery stores, "panic buying" - scared customers stocking up before storms - is nothing out of the ordinary. Shoppers at the Southport Meijer store have lost count of the number of times they've raced out ahead of the weather.
"I feel like a prisoner in my own home," said Char Stockwell as she stood in the checkout line. "I really, really dislike winter, particularly this winter."
This winter is more brutal than most. According the National Weather Service, eight days in January were below zero and 23 days were colder than normal. In 108 years, only three other months delivered more snow than January of 2014.
The Indianapolis DPW has less than a million dollars left in its snow removal budget. Its maintenance facility has operated 24 hours a day for 30 days. Workers are repairing electrical systems, tires, plows and other weather-weary broken equipment.
"I am ready for the beach, sunshine and warm weather," said Claire Couch, who was bundled up with boots, a coat, scarf and earmuffs.
So are retailers.
While shoppers pushed cartloads of groceries, we found store aisles packed with more bikinis and backyard barbeques than winter coats and gloves. There were only a few snow shovels left at discount prices. A few steps away, a spring display was packed with@a few hundred varieties of seeds, going nowhere until winter goes away.