With forecasts early last week projecting a snowstorm to hit the area on Feb. 9, a lifelong Oceansider made sure residents knew he would be willing to help them remove snow.
Kyle Baxter, 30, who owns a valet parking company in Island Park, and his co-worker, Dan Lombardo, 21, decided to start a small side business two years ago to help locals shovel out of their homes. The service, known as Two Brothers Snow Removal, spread word of their business by handing out flyers and putting an advertisement on social media a few days before the storm.
“When it snows, a lot of people are looking for work, but no one wants to go around knocking door to door,” Baxter said.
He added that because they let people know ahead of time, and have built relationships during previous snowstorms, more than 50 people requested snow removal from their homes. “My phone hasn’t stopped going off since 8 a.m.,” Baxter said in the midst of the winter storm, which brought about 12 hours of flurries that blanketed Oceanside’s streets with wet, heavy snow. “We just have to wait for the snow to stop for us to get out there.”
Though Baxter and Lombardo have fulfilled special requests to clear snow for people at specific times, or immediately in the case of an emergency, the bulk of the work during the most recent storm was done after snowfall ceased.
The two men led three crews — totaling nine people — to clear snow at dozens of homes throughout Oceanside as well as one in both Island Park and Lynbrook. Two of the three-member groups were working without snow blowers, Baxter said, and the crews would meet up periodically to help each other out.
The crews worked until midnight, and continued on Feb. 10 — from about 7 a.m. to noon — to service the houses they weren’t able to get to.
Baxter said he gave discounts to senior citizens, and added that people have been appreciative of the snow removal over the last few years.
“[Residents] were coming outside [saying], ‘Wow, this is amazing, I don’t have to wait for somebody; I can just leave,’” Baxter said. “They were like, ‘Put me on your list, and basically you don’t have to call me anymore. Just come over next time it snows.’”