ZIMMERMAN, Minn. - Mike Nelson's old snow blower is a slow starter. Maybe he should name it "Spring."
"My wife and I have a gardening company, so we're waiting to get out, get in the soil," said Zimmerman, after several pulls to get his machine started.
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Nelson was part of Zimmerman's snow blower encore, after an early spring storm dumped nearly a foot of snow on the city.
Zimmerman's snow total was among the highest in the Twin Cities area, but traffic trouble was common in the metro area.
By mid-morning Friday more than 100 crashes and spinouts had been logged by the Minnesota State Patrol, including a single car crash in New Hope that brought down a freeway light pole.
Twelve days before opening for the season, workers at Nelson Nursery and Garden Center in Zimmerman were busy planting.
"Smells like earth," said manager Katie Feckers. "Like there is life out there."
Nelson Nursery has extra reason to hope for spring's arrival. Last year, was brutal for garden centers, as spring snows extended into May. Feckers is hoping for more favorable weather this season, maybe spurring some pent up demand.
"We have people driving through on sunny days," said Feckers. "We have the door open so people, we let them in. They want to feel spring, too"