Armed with nothing but a Toro PowerMax 826 snow blower and a Briggs and Stratton Engine with 7.75 HP, Forestville resident Andy Kepler successfully battled the January Blizzard of 2018.
Despite the 30 mph wind gusts and his wife yelling to him from the comforts of their home, “You’re doing it wrong!” Mr. Kepler prevailed.
After battling the snow for two hours Mr. Kepler answered questions from the media.
The storm made a lot of plays; dropping three inches of snow in an hour and the consistent wind. Stuff like that makes you dig deep within yourself.
It was tough and hard fought and I am thankful we came out on top.
On the injury front I tweaked my arm but other than that I am okay. I will take your questions now.
Was the storm a tough challenge?
It was a tough storm no doubt, the furious bands of snow coupled with the wind made for a good scheme. The blizzard played hard and tough. We just kept battling.
How was this blizzard different than others?
Each winter storm is unique but there are many similarities. As I said, it was a tough storm and it competed well. Obviously, it takes a lot to beat a storm like this. We just wore it down.
Did you feel that you were limited in your opportunities?
Limited? Nah. It was all the prep work. Granted we had a slow start because of the drifting snow and swirling winds, but we just kept battling and making plays so to speak.
What were the keys to victory?
Instead of making full width passes through the snow I did smaller passes about one-third sometimes half. It took longer but it was much smoother.
Are you surprised by today’s results?
Not really. The work I did in the off season made all the difference. New spark plugs and I sprayed the auger; game changer right there. Plus, when I was a kid, my father told me, ‘Give 110% every snowstorm no matter the amount.’ His words were with me the whole time. This win is just as much as mine as it is his.
What were your emotions at the end there?
The emotions were up and down all day as they always are I can tell you that. I was just relieved at the end when it was over because I was tired, cold and hungry after a hard fought win. But you know the work is not done. Tomorrow it’s on to my mom’s driveway and let’s win there too.
Any message for the critics?
You mean Mrs. Kepler? [Laughter]
Oh the ‘you’re doing it wrong comment’. Yeah, she said the same thing about how I put the dishes away, and how I rake too so I just let that stuff go. Although she has to vacuum tomorrow so I might heckle her with comments like ‘Bor-ing!’ [Laughter] We shall see.