Regular roof maintenance is crucial to longevity of your roof

Regular maintenance and ongoing care is crucial to the longevity of your roof. Failing to properly maintain your commercial or residential roof is a sure recipe for disaster. Knowing the condition of the roof and making prompt repairs can potentially save you a great deal of money in the long run. Homeowners and business owners should diligently look for signs of problems before a potentially small problem becomes a disastrous situation.

What is my role in roofing maintenance?
Keeping gutters and downspouts free of debris is essential to maintaining your roof. The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety explains that while a roof is your “first line of defense from natural hazards such as wind, rain, fire, hail, ice, snow, and extreme heat,” the roof is also the most vulnerable part of any building.

You do not have to be a professional roofing contractor to look for basic problems such as signs of leaks. Look around the rooms inside your home or commercial building. Water stains or cracks in the ceiling are a sign of a leaky roof. The BBB points out that roof leaks can start out from a variety of causes. It is imperative for you to act quickly to repair a leaky roof before more serious damage occurs, such as “structural damage to the walls, floors and roof” if you fail to get repairs at the first sign of a leaky roof.
After any severe weather, inspect your roof, even if there may not initially seem to be any damage. Look for loose or missing shingles, downed tree limbs, accumulation of debris or other materials on the roof. Remove debris, replace damaged shingles and repair other damaged areas immediately. Remove as much snow as possible to prevent ice dams from occurring. Anything with the potential to hold moisture can damage your roof. Do not remove already-formed ice, as this may cause damage.

How do I find a reliable roofing contractor?
If you do not feel comfortable maintaining or inspecting your roof, hire a reputable roofing contractor. A licensed contractor with a strong reputation in your community can help you maintain your residential or commercial roof as well as make repairs. Never let a door-to-door roofing contractor do the work. Roofing scams are on the rise. An example is the eight roofers who committed scams in 11 states, defrauding homeowners out of millions of dollars, according to court records. Check reputation and references before hiring any roofing contractor to inspect, maintain or repair the roof of your home or business.


Why every do it yourself business owner needs to understand Google keyword planner to be successful with online marketing

In order to be successful with any online marketing campaign for your business, you need to start with keyword research. Your goal is to understand your target market, the competitiveness of your space, and the search volume of keywords. Once this information is revealed, you can begin executing a plan for your marketing strategy. But how does one go about researching to reveal this type of information? We spoke with Jon from High Level Marketing, a design firm that specializes in helping business owners get found on Google through digital marketing services to get some tips and advice on establishing the right keywords and understanding marketing budgets.

Google Keyword Planner. For any do-it-yourself business owner running their own PPC campaign, Google Keyword Planner is an easy and effective research tool that is heavily focused on PPC campaigns. By using this tool, you will be able to better understand your target market, competitors, and your search volume of keywords.

Google Keyword Planner provides robust filtering capabilities, so you can be extremely picky about your keywords. You can filter your keywords based on average CPC (cost per click), estimated search volume, and keyword competition; all of which allow you to view your campaign on a more hyper-local basis. This tool also divides keywords up into suggested ad groups, which is designed to be a PPC focused feature.

With this tool, it is important to have clear understanding about where you fit in the market first. You can use this tool to set up various targeting options where you can specify country(s), language(s), as well as certain keywords you do not want to include in your search terms, called “negative” keywords. This allows you to filter out anything that could steer you away from your target market, something no business owner wants to do.

How difficult is it already to come up with unique and adequate keywords to combine a list? Google Keyword planner now has a unique feature that allows you to multiple by 2 (or even more) keyword lists, which results a in a brand new and unique keyword combinations. A/B testing can be time consuming, but this tool could be helpful in discovering and creating new test keywords.

In order to be successful with any online marketing campaign for your business, you need to start with keyword research. Again, your goal is to understand your target market, the competitiveness of your space, and the search volume of keywords.

Let’s face it, any do-it-yourself business owner has a lot more on their plate than making it a priority to set aside a separate time to search for keywords for their PPC campaign. Researching keywords and crafting a suitable online marketing strategy is not an easy task, nor is it quick. It requires a deep and careful analysis of your target market, but that’s exactly what Google Keyword Planner is there for – to do the research for you.

Pros and Cons of borrowing from your nest egg

Many people end up in a financial crunch at one point or another in their life. We asked Steven Moore a financial consult who writes for a variety of finance websites. if you can borrow from your nest egg, such as your 401(k), an IRA, or other investments such as stocks, CDs or bonds. The simple answer is yes, and in the case of loans made against your stocks or bonds, these loans are known as margin loans. Any loans against your nest egg(s) will have several things to consider and take into account before you decide if it is worth borrowing against.

The plus side to borrowing from your nest eggs is that in most cases the interest rates are very low, and sometimes even interest free. One example is when you borrow from your IRA, you can borrow funds from your IRA interest free for a total of 60 days, but on day 60, or sooner, you must repay the money or roll the money over into another IRA account. You should never ever borrow from your IRA unless you are 100 percent certain that you can pay it back in full within 60 days. Failure to do this will result in taxes and a hefty penalty rate on your funds. I should point out however that there are exceptions to this penalty rule, such as if you are borrowing the funds to pay for college for yourself, spouse or child, or if you are using the funds for medical expenses that exceed 10% of your adjusted gross income, among other exceptions. Another exception to this rule is if you have been unemployed for 3 months or longer and have not had health insurance during this time. You can also borrow up to $10,000 for your first primary home and avoid this penalty. You also will not be benefiting from the interest rate on your IRA while you have withdrawn the money, since the money will not be in your account to garner interest.

Other nest eggs can be a poor choice to borrow against, such as borrowing from your 401(k) since when you borrow from a 401(k) you have to pay taxes if you have not made a payment within 90 days on the money borrowed. Also if you are under the age of 59½ you will have to pay a 10% penalty. Interest payments are not tax deductible like they would be for a home equity loan for example, so this is also a part of the cost of the loan. If you do not repay the money borrowed from the 410(k) then you are sabotaging all the hard work you have put into building up your retirement account, and potentially ruining your golden years. On the plus side you owe the money back to yourself instead of a bank. You can borrow up to 50% of your 401(k) balance, up to a maximum of $50,000. You have only 5 years however to pay this money back, unless you are using the funds to make a down payment on a new home. The interest rates tend to be much lower than any bank loan or personal loan may be. Since there is never a credit check to borrow this money, it is often an attractive loan option for those who are experiencing credit problems or those whose credit score has taken a temporary dive.

If you are thinking about borrowing from your 401(k) or your IRA, you should take awhile to think it over. It can become habit forming to borrow against these funds, and the cost can be dear if you should somehow not be able to pay back this money. Failure to repay these funds can hurt your retirement. Retirement funds should be hands off unless you are nearly 100 percent certain that you can repay it back in full. Loans against your retirement funds can make sense if you are borrowing against them for short term and can repay it quickly, but if you are borrowing for long term problems, then this loan option might not be the best option for you.

Can You Learn How to Do SEO Through Videos?

There are many ways small business owners can learn SEO online. From YouTube videos to blogs about the latest SEO strategies and techniques, there is a wealth of information online.  Learning SEO online is a great way to stretch your marketing funds. Most of the information online can be incorporated into your marketing strategy within a few hours. Unfortunately, as Google changes the requirements that result in first-page rankings, many business owners find it challenging to keep up.
The following are reasons why you should leverage the expertise of a marketing firm to develop your

SEO strategy.

Marketing Firms Offer Seasoned Expertise

Working with a marketing firm means that your small business benefits from seasoned marketing experts. These companies have likely experienced many changes affecting Google’s algorithm, and over the years, they have honed their skills. They know the difference between black hat SEO strategies that will get your website flagged by Google including:
• Duplicate content
• Keyword stuffing
• Cloaking
• Redirects
• Rich snippet markups

They also know what SEO strategies will propel you to the top of your keyword search results page.
SEO Firms Offer Low-Cost, Effective Services

Searching for links to companies offering great seo videos? Check out these from Youtube:   Search Engine LandHigh Level Marketing, Moz, Google Webmaster Team,


One of the greatest benefits to hiring an SEO firm is the ability to maintain your marketing budget. SEO firms have streamlined their business processes to the point that they can deliver high-impact results in less time than it would take you to research keywords. With an arsenal of SEO tools at their disposal, your business can capitalize on the low-cost, effective SEO strategies a marketing firm provides your business.

Additionally, by employing the services of a marketing firm, your business website remains current. You do not have to worry about updating content when Google makes changes.
Marketing Firms Help You Effectively Leverage Your Resources

By employing the services of a marketing company instead of learning SEO online, you can focus on other areas of growing your business. Since there is always something to do in business, it makes sense for you to use your free time to develop your small business strategically. Although you can learn SEO online, it may not be in your best interest. In fact, it makes more sense to hire a marketing company to manage your SEO since they are experts in the field. By leveraging their tools and skills, you can optimize your website so that it ranks highly relative to your keywords.

Residents In Tennessee Valley Now Facing Mold Growth Challenges

Earlier in the month Kentucky got slammed with rain that caused extensive flooding throughout the Louisville area. Before the water even had time to begin receding the damage had already been done, and properties all over were enduring the aftermath of a flooded basement or home. After the water had gone, there was something serious that remained, which is mold.

After an area floods it is imperative to begin quickly cleaning up the water and drying out the property so that mold doesn’t have a chance to grow. Whether it is a basement, car, or even a living space, water can hike up the chance for mold greatly.

According to the United States EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), mold due to flooding can cause serious health issues if it isn’t taken care of quickly and efficiently. Even if the flooding was caused by clean water, it can still lead to the growth of microorganisms that can cause allergic reactions in people who are sensitive to it.

Doctors recommend the best way to deal with mold is to immediately throw out any items that were damaged by water, including furniture. They also recommended that any carpeting that has sustained water damage should also be thrown away as well. The health issues associated with mold vary from individual to individual, but the most common ailments are sinus problems that can trigger asthma, bronchitis, or even a serious allergic reaction.

A study was done by the EPA, and they set out some recommendations to prevent mold from growing in your home following a flood event.

First, you will want to stop the water from breaching your homes foundation. From there, you will need to protect any of your family members or occupants that are especially vulnerable to mold or that have chronic diseases or a suppressed immune system. Next, you will want to find out the extent of the water damage. Trace any pathways of the water to find out where the damage has spread. Lastly, you will need to plan and begin the clean up process.

Dealing with Black Mold

According to many people, that is just the easy part. If the moisture seeps into the walls of the home it can be quite difficult to fix. If the mold spreads throughout your wall, then you will definitely need the help of professional to remove it efficiently. Allergists have stated that toxic mold usually isn’t a problem, and that it is usually the people who are already allergic to mold that would be the most affected.

The mold usually is not toxic, because it doesn’t essentially send out toxins that will make everyone sick. The problem begins when people who are already allergic to mold begin to show symptoms of exposure.

NJ, NYC and Boston Road Travel Prohibited as Massive Snowstorm Hits

There are travel bans in place in New Jersey, New York City and Boston as a potentially historic massive snowstorm bears down on the Northeast. Winter storms of this caliber only come along every few years and forecasters are saying that the big storm could bring the most snow ever recorded in parts of the Northeast as several feet may come down. There were thousands of school closings and flight cancellations taking place ahead of the storm Monday as heavy snow along with hurricane-force winds were expected. It is very rare for New York City and Boston to ban all forms of travel due to weather but that’s exactly what those two cities did.

Tens of millions of people from Philadelphia to Boston scrambled to get home Monday as the colossal storm was bearing down on them. Most forecasters agree that this super winter storm with strong whipping winds and heavy snowfall could paralyze the Northeast for several days. Snow was already falling in New York City and Boston Monday early evening. Forecasters warned that the storm would grow into a powerful blizzard wherein the worst of it would hit late Monday and into Tuesday morning.

Over 7000 flights in and out of the Northeast were canceled with many of them not scheduled to lift again until mid-week. Schools, businesses and government offices closed down early Monday to allow people to get home safely before the worst of the storm struck. People were crowding supermarkets throughout the region Monday afternoon to stock up on necessities.

States of emergencies were declared in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York ahead of the big storm. NYC major Bill de Blasio warned city residents that this storm may be one of the largest blizzards in the history of the city. He said people need to take the storm warnings seriously. The mayor told New Yorkers to go home and stay there and said people need to make smart decisions during this storm. The National Weather Service put a blizzard warning into effect for a 250 mile swath of the region and said winds could gust up to 70 miles per hour or more and that New York could get 2 feet of snow and Boston up to 3 feet.

By 11pm Monday, the subways and buses in New York City were shut down.
Commuter trains across the Northeast also were being scheduled to stop running overnight and most flights coming and going were grounded. Forecasters are warning of possible power outages due to the storm as well as damaging flooding and beach erosion which is very possible in New Jersey and on Cape Cod in Massachusetts. Additional utility crews were put on standby across the region to handle anticipated power outages.

Extreme Cold Weather Hard On Homes and Cars Alike

This week has been cold for many parts of the United States. When this type of cold hits, it can devastate many homes and businesses in the form of water damage, ice dams on roofs, and even burst pipes. Frozen pipes are accountable for many cases of water damage each year in the United States, but luckily it can be prevented by taking some preventative measures.

Each winter the pipes that are in your home are at risk of freezing due to the cold temperatures. These low temperatures can cause your pipes to freeze and even burst if the problem persists. Here are some tips to help you prepare your home before your pipes can freeze.

First, you can start outside by disconnecting any gardening hoses and installing covers on all outside faucets. After disconnecting your hoses you will want to make sure that they are completely drained before storing them away for winter. Next, you will want to adjust the thermometer to a warmer temperature. You should always keep your home at 68 degrees or higher even if you’re leaving the house for an extended period of time, because cold is the culprit to frozen and burst pipes.


Opening the doors to the cabinets below the sink will allow heat from your home to circulate around the pipes, keeping them at a warmer temperature. You will want to insulate the pipes that are closest to any exterior walls with pipe insulation or heating tape. This will prevent them from freezing, especially the interior pipes that run along outside walls. You can get both pipe insulation and heating tape at your local hardware store. Make sure that all of the windows near water pipes are closed and sealed correctly. Check for any drafts, and if there are, caulk the spaces that you can determine are letting in cold air.

Heat your basement and also consider weather sealing your windows. Insulate any outside walls or unheated parts of your estate. The best and most effective way to prevent frozen pipes is by preparing ahead of time. Did you know that a 1/8-inch crack in a pipe can let out 250 gallons of water in just one day? Imagine what that could do to a home if the homeowners were not around to catch it.

To many people’s surprise, ice that forms in a pipe usually doesn’t cause a break where the blockage occurs. What causes the pipe to burst is the expansion inside of the pipe that is caused by the pressure between the ice blockage and the water trying to get through.

If one of your pipes does freeze, you can try to thaw it yourself using a hair dryer. Do not try this if there is standing water in your home. To thaw a frozen pipe, heat some water on the stove and soak some towels in the hot water, then wrap them around the coldest sections of the pipes. When you do try to thaw a pipe, you will want to start thawing nearest to the faucet, and make sure to keep it on so that the melted water can drip out.

Now if you’re leaving your home for an extended period of time, the best way to prevent your pipes from freezing is to turn off your water at the main and then open all faucets or showers and flush all toilets after turning off the main line. This will get all of the water out of your pipes. The only pressure that will be left is by the main valve which is just above the ground, so it will not freeze.

Leaving your home at 68 degrees is always a good idea but if the power goes out, your furnace will be out. With this weather the pipes could freeze quickly. That is why it is smart to take other measures to ensure that your pipes do not freeze this winter.

Definitive Guide Towards Repairing Your Credit and Improving Your Loan Chances In 2015

If you have bad credit and mounting debt, it can seem hopeless, but there are things you can do step by step to fix the issue. Especially in the coming months with changes to the FICO scoring system. Now more than ever repairing your credit is easier than ever. We sat down with Kyle Burton who covers consumer financial loans for installment loans network, a network of online loan offers for borrowers with average to excellent credit to get some tips towards repairing credit and improving your chances for qualifying for a loan from the lenders perspective. There are steps you can take right now to begin the road to repairing your blemished credit history.

The first step is to pull your credit reports
. When you pull your own credit report it does not contrary to popular belief damage your credit. When you pull your own credit it does not count as a hard inquiry, but a soft inquiry seen only by you. Creditors will not even see that you pulled your own credit report. Pulling your current credit report will let you know exactly what you need to work on to fix your credit. Every debt that is outstanding that creditors bothered to report will be listed between one, two or all three credit reports. You can obtain free copies of your credit reports from all three major credit bureaus which are Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, at The credit reports are free thanks to the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA), and pulling your credit report from this website does not require you to enter any banking or credit card info.

After you have pulled your credit reports, make sure that the reports do not include any errors what so ever. Even an error in address can effect you. If for example a creditor has reported you as being late on a payment and you were not late you can dispute this with both the credit bureau in writing and the creditor. An inaccurately reported late payment for example can lower your score by up to 100 points. If you have a negative account and it is older than seven years you can have the negative removed from your credit reports. You can also dispute anything that you feel cannot be verified. Also you can dispute any inaccurate, incomplete, or out of date information appearing on your reports. A very common error found on credit reports is inaccurate credit limits and account balances, these should also be disputed as they to can effect your score. You can dispute by mail or for faster result directly at the credit reporting agencies website. Credit bureaus by law have only 30 days to investigate and respond to your dispute, though they can get a 15 day extension should you be required to send in additional proof while they investigate your claims. When you do dispute, do include all relevant information about your claims, as failure to do so can cause a delay.

Credit Bureaus Dispute Addresses:

P.O. Box 7404256
Atlanta, GA 30374-0256

Dispute Department
P.O. Box 9701
Allen, TX 75013

Consumer Solutions
P.O. Box 2000
Chester, PA 19022-2000

If you are in debt and your debt to income ration is what has done in your credit, avoid new purchases on your credit cards. Using up more than 30% of your available credit results in a loss of points on your credit score. Your use of available credit is your credit utilization, and this has a huge impact on your score. This affects both your Fico Score and your Vantagescore, which is another type of credit scoring used widely. The best way to not take a credit score hit is to keep your credit utilization low. Credit utilization is counted per account and also all accounted added together overall. Once your reduce your credit balances and keep them down, your credit score will go up substantially. Many people are unaware that even if you pay the balance off every month, simply using more than 30% of your available credit can and does lower your score temporarily.

If you are behind on your payments these need to be caught up as soon as possible. Payment history accounts for 35% of your current credit score. The farther behind you get on payments, the more your credit score starts to suffer. If your account gets sent to a collection agency or charged off your score takes a dive, so make sure to prevent any current accounts from entering into collections status. You can contact your creditor to work out payment arrangements, and some credits will re-age your account on request to show you as current, creditors are often willing to do this is you can pay the balance off in full, especially if you have never been late with a payment before hand. The term is called negotiating a pay for delete. As a last resort if you are way behind on payments you can always try and settle the account or less than what is owed. With the changes in the FICO scoring coming this fall, settlements will not hurt your credit as much as it used to. If you do settle the account be aware the term “Settled” by be notated on the account.

While you are repairing damaged credit, limit any new credit applications. 10% of your score is composed of the number of inquiries on your credit report. Inquiries happen every time a credit pulls your credit report, and trying to open a new account will always result in an inquiry. If you view your credit report and see inquiries that were not the result of you applying for credit do not worry these are often from other creditors do a pre screening for pre-approved credit card offers. You only suffer hard inquiries that effect your score when you apply for any type of credit.

You may be tempted to close some accounts out while repairing your credit, but this most often times has no positive effect on your credit, in fact it often has the reverse. You need at least 3 open credit sources listed on your file to avoid falling into the thin credit category, which would result in you no longer having any credit score, which is far worse than having a poor score.

Last but not least if credit card debt is the majority of your debt, and if your score is still at least 620, you can try to apply for a credit card with a balance transfer. This works better when your score is higher, as you get better rates and offers. Many cards offer a year with no interest on balance transfers.

FEMA and The Ever Changing Flood Insurance Policy Changes Continue

Many mortgage professionals who are lenders for residential properties that are near the coast or near water may see new regulations popping up pertaining to flood insurance coverage in the next year. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has just proposed a new regulation that states that property owners that live in areas prone to flooding must have their premiums for insurance set aside in an escrow account. This satisfies the requirement that borrowers from lenders have, and will pay, their flood insurance. This also ensures that the homeowner’s will pay their bills on time.

The NFIP (National Flood Insurance Policy) that is regulated through FEMA has been under some financial stress in the last decade, suffering huge losses due to hurricanes Katrina and Sandy. The losses from just those two storms add up to about $14 billion dollars worth of losses for the program.
With these new regulations, it might mean something good for homeowners. It could mean that some policyholders may not have to carry the expensive coverage that is currently required for some parts of their properties. An example of this could be a garage that is located in a specialized flood hazard area. If it is detached from their structure and doesn’t serve as a residence, they won’t have to pay the expensive fees for covering it.

As for the requirement to set aside money in an escrow account, policyholders and lenders can see this change after January 1st, 2016. The NFIP has been under scrutiny since 2012 after the Biggert-Waters Act led to very large hikes in the cost of premiums. These costs increased up to 1,000 percent, leaving their consumers less than impressed and quite angry. This Act was put into fruition to help stabilize the drowning National Flood Insurance Program, but instead, it made consumers angry and hindered them even further.

Due to the backlash among the insurance providers that represent the NFIP and policyholders living in flood-prone areas, the Congress rolled back these steep increases in cost so that they would be more gradual and less intense and sudden.

Some of the areas that were hit by Superstorm Sandy, including the five boroughs of the New York area, have began to take preventative measures in order to try and receive discounts from FEMA pertaining to premiums. It is vital for communities to take this kind of action to prevent damage from occurring because firstly, many homes and businesses will be saved in the long run, and two, it will cost less money to restore and prices for premiums will be slashed.
Some communities may even be able to receive a 45% discount in the cost of premiums if they go above and beyond the minimum requirements for the National Flood Insurance Program. A community in one of the five boroughs has even requested a grant to build a higher barrier between the coast and the homes, and if it is high enough, they are hoping the FEMA will revise the flood map for that area and will cut down the price of premiums.

If you build sufficient protection, then FEMA will definitely lower the flood insurance rates for policyholders in that area. The neighborhood of Breezy Point is an ideal candidate for the Community Rating system, but there are many other neighborhoods in the same vicinity that probably won’t be eligible to receive any kind of discounts because they can’t take any preventative measures – either they don’t have the money, or it is highly improbable that they will be able to renovate every single home to meet the resilience standards for FEMA. This is a pre-requisite for joining the program; so many neighborhoods around Breezy Point don’t have the option of having flood insurance at all through the NFIP.

FEMA will begin making visits to many communities that are located in flood-prone areas throughout the United States beginning now and continuing through May of 2015. As long as these communities meet the resilience standards, then they can expect to see lower premium costs. Now if the communities go beyond what is actually required, they may see a slash in the price. This could include anything from building a barrier as one community has done, sandbagging the coast, or even raising homes above the flood zone level.

For a community to be fully compliant with the flood proofing standards (which were designed for detached single family homes that weren’t along the coastline), most property owners would have to raise their floors so that they were located above the flood zone. The truth of the matter is, that may be nearly impossible for many homeowners; both physically and monetarily.

For more information on the National Flood Insurance Program, its policies, or any other information regarding the Federal Emergency Management Agency, you can visit their websites for more in depth explanations.

Winter Storm Astro Dumping Heavy Snow Across Much of Northern US


A massive winter storm dubbed Astro, the first significant storm event of the 2014-15 season in the US, is causing problems across much of the United States. The big weather system that is being fueled by the remnants of Typhoon Nuri in Alaska is pushing frigid air and lots of snow into the mainland US, sending temperatures plunging and covering the ground with several inches and even feet of snow. Portions of the country could see temperatures 30 to 40 degrees colder than normal for this time of year as Astro is ushering in winter in a very dramatic way.

By Monday evening, heavy snow had fallen across the northern plains and into the upper Great Lakes with some areas getting more than a foot of white stuff. In portions of Minnesota and the upper peninsula of Michigan, nearly two feet of snow was already on the ground by Monday evening. Winter storm warnings were put into effect Sunday for portions of Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota with more warnings being issued elsewhere as the storm was bearing down on the Plains and Upper Midwest. The big winter storm is also dumping a wintry mix on many areas and bringing with it strong gusting winds, making it difficult to accurately measure how much precipitation is coming down.

In Minnesota, state police were kept very busy Monday responding to hundreds of traffic accidents and spinouts. Two people were reported killed in that state in weather-related car accidents. Just in the Twin Cities area alone, over 50 accidents happened during Monday morning’s rush hour as the roads there were slick and snow-covered. By 11 am, there was nearly a foot of snow on the ground in St. Augusta, MN, to make the afternoon commute home harrowing to say the least.

The big winter storm is unleashing its fury on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan where by Monday evening, already over a foot of snow was on the ground. The winter storm warning that was put into effect Monday morning for the UP of Michigan is expected to remain in effect until as late as 10 am Wednesday morning. None of the state’s lower peninsula is included in that warning. Some of the higher elevations of the UP could see two feet of snow or more with Marquette possibly getting more than 31 inches before it’s all said and done.