Snow-moving ‘side hustlers’ find a treasure trove of work after another round of snow

WESTWOOD HILLS, Kan. -- Most of us in the Kansas City metro look outside and see a mess of snow, but others see green.

Snow means go for side hustlers -- people with regular jobs looking to make some extra dough. FOX4 meteorologists report eight storms in the metro this winter that have delivered at least an inch of snow, and each time, workers have cashed in.

In some cases, the moneymaking is people-powered, as witnessed in multitudes of people using shovels to move snow. Other times, snowplows and snowblowers are seen with people who hold regular jobs at the controls, working in the cold to make some cash.

Hunter Wright is no stranger to snow-time, but he prefers showtime. The Olathe native is a metalworker who also competes in professional BMX shows. On Wednesday, Wright and his shovel cleared a series of driveways at a minimum cost of $40 apiece. Wright said he expected to make a couple of hundred bucks for the day's work.

"The snow business. the last five or six years, has been next to zero. This year, it's like a completely different winter. It's been pretty good," Wright said while working on a driveway in Westwood Hills.

"I would say it's a physical intensive job," he said. "I guess that's another aspect of it that I kind of enjoy. I can make a few bucks and not have to go to the gym the same day."

Tuesday night's snowfall added about 3 inches to what's already been a winter smothered in white. Wright said he'd worked some driveways that still hadn't been scraped or shoveled from other recent weather events.

In Kansas City, Kansas, Jared Schelp proved he needed no lessons in clearing the cold stuff.

Schelp usually works as a high school teacher, but on Wednesday, he and his gas-powered snowblower cleared 13 driveways. Schelp said the one he worked within earshot of Kansas Speedway got him $60 cash.

"It's been fantastic," Schlep said. "As a teacher, when it snows this much, you know you're probably going to be off school, and to make some extra tax-free dollars is always fantastic on top of what I make as a teacher."

FOX4 found both of those side hustlers on Craigslist. Both snow-movers recommended that customers take caution of prices that seem too good to be true, and to ask snow removal workers for their professional references.

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