APPLETON - Spring starts in just a few days, but the winter weather is hanging on as long as possible. The snow created slick road conditions Monday. The weather couldn't be much different from this time last year when it was sunny and in the 70's.
So there is little doubt that this year, certain businesses are seeing a better year than last. That includes auto body shops.
For drivers in the Fox Valley, the Monday afternoon commute was a mess. Roads were slick and visibility was poor and with spring only a few days away, the snow was unwelcome for some.
"Getting tired of all this white stuff! I've been slipping and sliding all over the place, fish-tailing around corners," said Robert Davenport.
But the while the winter is bad luck for some drivers, it's good fortune for some area businesses.
"Everybody's getting sick and tired of it, but for us, it's been really good," said Scott Femal owner of Femal's Auto Body in Appleton. He told FOX 11 his shop is doing a lot more business this winter than last.
Over the past two weeks, Femal said employees fixed about 40 cars damaged in bad weather. That's about four times the average. Other body shops we spoke with off-camera reported similar numbers.
"A lot of small fender-benders, lot of ditch jobs, scratch on the cars, cracked my bumper, broke my headlight, stuff like that," Femal explained.
Femal told us for the average repair they've done this winter, the cost is about fifteen hundred dollars."
"Not cheap!" exclaimed Femal.
Femal told us some drivers are even holding off necessary repairs until they get their tax refund checks.
"Right now we're booking into the second week in April, so if you wait too long, you won't get in til May," said Femal.
And for some customers the bad weather and bad luck struck more than once.
"I've had customers who've just been here two months ago and now they're back," said Femal.
Back on the road, some drivers are hoping to avoid accidents and see signs of spring.
"I'm hoping for some warm weather, real soon...and some green grass!" exclaimed Davenport.
And he's not the only one.
FOX 11 meteorologists expect the snow to move out of Northeast Wisconsin tonight.
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