'Can't really believe it:' Milwaukee residents, city officials prepare for spring snowstorm

MILWAUKEE -- The timing of the upcoming snow storm really couldn't be worse. From outdoor city events taking place Saturday, April 27 to landscaping jobs scheduled, many were counting on sunshine and warm temperatures over the weekend.

The flowers, trees and shrubs are on display outside the Bayside Garden Center Friday afternoon, April 26. As soon as they close for the evening, employees will have to move all of the plants into the greenhouses to protect them from the snow.

Spring, winter weather changes

Local landscapers say they'll also have to plan around the snow, likely having to reschedule grass cutting and yard cleanup jobs for next week.

Bart Ferrara

"You can't really believe it until you see it," said Bart Ferrara of Bart's Green Shoes.

Ferrara is still playing catch up from the last snowfall two weeks ago.

"Phone's ringing off the hook," said Ferrara. "I can't get anything done."

He now anticipates he'll have to reschedule even more yard cleanup jobs.

"My office is the out of doors, so when it snows, it's like it's snowing in my office," said Ferrara. "How would you feel if it snowed in your office?"

One project that must go on is the Milwaukee Riverkeeper's Annual Spring Cleanup. 3,500 volunteers are expected to pick up over 100,000 pounds of trash, regardless of the weather.

Spring, winter weather changes

"We're Wisconsinites -- we dress for the weather," said Jennifer Bolger Breceda, Milwaukee Riverkeeper. "We go to Lambeau Field in the Polar Vortex. I know this is not going to deter people."

Jennifer Bolger Breceda

And for those who are traveling, the city says trucks will lay brine down on the roads ahead of the snow -- and will put plows on the garbage trucks in case it begins to pile.

"It's supposed to get into the mid-40s by Sunday," said Mayor Tom Barrett. "I would prefer not to use the plows in April, but we'll see. If we have to use them, we'll use them."

It's a tale of two seasons in two days. As the city's Forestry Division plants 32 trees, the Streets Division is putting plows back on their trucks.

Spring, winter weather changes

Jeff Polenske

"The grass is green. The trees are budding. The leaves are appearing," said Jeff Polenske. "Tomorrow might be a little different story. Hopefully, you haven't put your sleds away."

With several inches of snow in the forecast for Saturday, it will be all hands on deck to lay own brine ahead of the storm -- and clear the roads if necessary.

"We're missing a few people that were supposed to be here for our Arbor Day celebration because they're planning right now for tomorrow," said Polenske.

Mayor Tom Barrett