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Hardware stores stock up ahead of winter weather

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Oct. 11, 2014)-- Walk into most hardware stores around the Indianapolis area, and you'll see a sign of things to come.

Just inside the front door at Sullivan Hardware and Garden on North Keystone Avenue, there is a small arsenal of snow shovels on display. Just outside the door, there are several stacks of rock salt and ice melt.

"We probably have stockpiled about eight pallets right now," said Sullivan employee Mike Bradley. "And the first week when it snows, we'll probably go through two pallets depending on what type of salt the customer wants to put down on the driveway."

While the rush on shovels and salt hasn't quite started yet, store owners know it's coming. Colder temperatures have already started to take hold by Tuesday afternoon. Hardware store employees are already seeing a rush of customers trying to get the last of the leaves cleared from their lawns before snow arrives.

"People are coming in getting rakes and leaf baggers," Bradley said. "Which we've actually been sold out because a lot of people have been coming in asking."

Last winter, repair crews were running around 24 hours a day to answer emergency calls about frozen and busted pipes.

After the brutally cold temperatures of last winter, Bradley expects to sell more products designed to insulate and warm water pipes inside homes this year. He also expects to sell other gadgets to warm gutters and shield outdoor spigots from frigid temperatures.