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Plants, plows and power lines: Colorado prepares for snow

Friday’s freeze will be a shock to the system for many in Colorado who already had summer on the mind.

EVERGREEN, Colo. — Ahead of Friday’s expected snowfall, Colorado Department of Transportation crews are prepared to return to plowing shifts.

Crews will mobilize starting at 3 a.m. Friday, according to CDOT spokeswoman Tamara Rollison. She said about 100 plows will be available across the Denver metro, with 40 targeting an area expected to be hit hardest: the Interstate 70 corridor.

Plowing crews do not plan to pretreat the roads, because the forecast calls for rain before snowfall and that could wash away any treatment. CDOT cautions drivers to avoid the roads if possible, and if not, to understand conditions and take all precautions before a trip.

RELATED: Winter Storm Warning issued for Denver metro area ahead of damaging snowstorm

While the sun was still shining and warm Thursday afternoon, a business in Evergreen was keeping busy.

The team at Sundance Gardens and Landscape moved most of their plants inside their building, trucks or greenhouse, and covered some of their remaining inventory outside.

“The snow we’re kind of ready for, but if it gets really cold, then it's so much harder to protect things,” said David Thomas, who owns the store.

“It’s our business to keep them alive so somebody else can get them," he said.

Evergreen could get as much as 2 feet of snow throughout the weekend.

In Denver, gardening season unofficially begins Mother’s Day weekend. At higher elevations, Thomas said, the season generally starts a few weeks later.

“If you want to be really safe, the weekend after Memorial Day. Most people start earlier, but they know how to cover plants and protect them,” Thomas said. 

RELATED: How to protect your plants from Colorado's incoming cold snap

Still, they’re stocked up as people are already buying up their flowers, shrubs and vegetables.

“We’ve got tons of plants everywhere. We’ve put things under tables. We’re going to cover tables with stuff under it with frost cloth. We’ve crammed the greenhouse full, loaded our truck back up,” Thomas said. “Tomorrow we'll lay down all the shrubs we don’t want crushed.”

Thomas’ team also services sprinkler systems. For the customers who already have theirs up and running, he expects to close them down for a few days. He also advised people to shake their trees after the snowfalls to prevent breakage.

Xcel Energy said there will be 260 crew members on round-the-clock standby during this storm. For months now, they’ve been trimming limbs that could fall onto lines.

RELATED: Xcel aims to limit lengthy power outages during spring snowstorm

Thomas said snow in late May is not so uncommon for Evergreen.

“We have seen it. Not all the time, but we usually get one good snow in May,” he said. “We’re so used to it up here. It's part of living up here.”

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