Feb. 19—ELWOOD — Braving the 19-degree weather to service his clients, Korbin Hussong, 29, barely had time to stop Thursday afternoon to do an interview.
In fact, he's barely had time since Monday to do anything but push snow with the plow on his pickup truck. As a result, he said, he's gotten barely four hours of sleep each night since the first snowfall.
"I put my phone number out there and told them to get in contact with me, and within the hour I was getting phone calls," he said.
Hussong said he expects to remain busy through the weekend.
"At the bare minimum, I don't plan to stop until Monday," he said.
While the municipalities and county road crews cleared the streets around Madison County, Elwood residents Hussong, Taylor Fettig and Gary Cline helped homeowners and other private property owners clear the way this week so they could go about their business.
With a small chance of flurries, Saturday is expected to be partly sunny and reach as high as 24 degrees, though the wind chill will leave it feeling as if it's minus 9, according to the National Weather Service.
Hussong, whose day job is in maintenance management at the VA Hospital in Marion, said he started his side hustle about six years ago after he got out of the military.
"It was something I always enjoyed. I love winter weather," he said.
The biggest challenge, Hussong said, remains the elements.
"It will get warm through the day and at night start freezing and turning the slush back into ice. That makes traveling difficult," he said.
Fettig, 29, who is a truck driver for a living, reported a similar experience over the past several days.
"Tuesday, the phone started ringing about 6 a.m., and it didn't stop all day. I got to where I was so busy I had to turn people down because of the workload," he said. However, he said, the work started tapering off Wednesday afternoon.
The long waits made clients restless, Fettig said.
"People were having a hard time finding somebody to do it. I think a lot of people got in the same situation I was. There were so many people needing it," he said.
His biggest challenges were snow drifts and figuring out the contours of some of the longer and more elaborate driveways in rural areas, a problem he resolved using Google where he got overhead views and could use various landmarks like bushes.
"Busting through those and getting those moving out of the way was sometimes a challenge," he said of the snow drifts.
While Hussong and Fettig weren't sure what they were going to do with their extra earnings, Cline, 42, said the seasonal nature of construction work means the money he's been earning goes toward living expenses.
"It helps with keeping the head above water for the wintertime," he said. "That's about the only way you can make any decent money during the winter."
Cline said he relies primarily on word of mouth and garage sale sites online to get the word out about his snow plowing business.
The rapid snowfall was his biggest challenge, he said.
"It's just keeping up with the snow. But when it's coming down an inch an hour, it's pretty hard to keep up with."
Follow Rebecca R. Bibbs on Twitter at @RebeccaB_THB, or call 765-640-4883.