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All in a day's work

Most people arrived at work Monday and removed their hats, pulled off their gloves and spent the rest of the day inside. Others in the Fargo-Moorhead area finished their shifts wearing snowmobile helmets. "A couple of guys got first dibs on them,...

Most people arrived at work Monday and removed their hats, pulled off their gloves and spent the rest of the day inside.

Others in the Fargo-Moorhead area finished their shifts wearing snowmobile helmets.

"A couple of guys got first dibs on them," said Kelsey Gorder, a power lineman for Cass County Electric Cooperative.

The helmets helped Gorder's co-workers see in the whipping sleet while they repaired dozens of broken lines in the countryside south of Fargo. Gorder left work Monday at 5 p.m., 14 hours after he started.

"It was a battle," he said.

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Travel wasn't advised Monday around the Fargo-Moorhead area, but some people spent much of their day doing just that for work.

Larry Pederson, a driver for Ready Wheels, ventured out on Fargo's ice-covered roads about eight times by mid-afternoon. His service provides door-to-door rides for people in wheelchairs.

"I don't try to drive real fast, and I don't try to stop real fast," Pederson said.

Brett Eberhard hit the streets delivering for Duane's House of Pizza in south Fargo. He arrived to work late.

"The hardest thing was actually getting my car here," he said. "It took me an hour to get the ice off."

Pizza delivery was a booming business Monday, and the storm only slowed drivers. Restaurants reported delivery times of an hour to 90 minutes, twice the normal wait.

Some people apparently planned for pizza and a movie.

Rentals at Take 2 Video in north Fargo were nearly double the business from Monday last week, and the store still had nine hours to sell, said manager Dave Brunsvold.

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"Amazing," he said of the demand. "It's been pretty much nonstop."

Then the phone rang behind him. Employee Zach Wermager answered. It was the question of the day.

"Oh, we're definitely open," Wermager told the caller.

Mail carriers completed their routes, armed with rubber mallets and lock de-icers. Carriers were expected to reach nearly all of their addresses Monday in Fargo, said Postmaster Greg Johnson. A few trucks didn't reach the city, however, so some mail was delayed, he said.

By nightfall, visibility had grown so bad that Micah Winegar was happy to call it quits for the day. The driver for Doyle's Yellow Checker Cab had been out from 6 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. when his boss called in the cars.

"Wasn't so bad to begin with," Winegar said. "Then it got to be scary."

Others got a warm reprieve earlier in the day.

Seth Harris spent part of his afternoon scraping the windows of his Volvo station wagon, but at least he had the day off. He normally spends his workday canvassing Fargo neighborhoods for Clean Water Action, a national nonprofit.

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"Thank God I didn't have to work today," he said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Forster at (701) 241-5538

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