So far in 2008, Mother Nature has not been kind to the people of the Midwest. This past June, record rainfalls pounded us in Wisconsin, as well as other states in the region, including Iowa, Indiana and Missouri. And with the extensive precipitation, rivers overflowed and levees broke, causing major flooding damage.

Cleanup is still ongoing and it is not an easy process. Many homes and businesses suffered damage and cleaning and restoration professionals will need extra guidance to ensure their efforts are done correctly and safely. Assistant Editor Nick Matkovich spoke with Midwest distributors to discuss their flood-related challenges and how they are helping their customers.

Unfortunately, this wasn’t the first extreme weather we experienced. Earlier this year, new snowfall records were set. Many cities and municipalities ran out of ice melt by the end of the season, having to add sand to their blend to keep roads and pathways safe and clear of ice and snow. And though most of us are currently enjoying nice (and dry) weather for a change, its once again time to think about the winter months. Now is the best time to start preparing for cold weather.

This year, customers are going to do everything they can to ensure they won’t run out of snow and ice melt. It doesn’t matter if snowfalls reach near last year’s totals or not, people are going to plan for the worst. Distributors should be prepared to start fielding customer ice melt questions earlier than normal, as well as meet their high demands throughout the season.