Residents stock up for storm

Published 9:30 am Thursday, December 16, 2010

FRANKLIN—At Ace Hardware in Franklin, salt and sleds were going like hotcakes on Wednesday as folks prepared for today’s forecasted 3 to 5 inches of snow in Western Tidewater.

As of 8 a.m. today, the Armory Drive store had sold 375, 50-pound bags of salt, said owner Carlton Cutchin.

“It’s the first (snowfall) and everybody loads up the for the first one,” Cutchin said. “After the first one, it slows down because they already have their salt.”

Other big sellers were ice scrapers, snow shovels, Carhartts and stocking caps, all of which the store remains well stocked on.

As of 9 a.m. today, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Wakefield said the snow had begun falling in Emporia. Lyle Alexander said he expected it to hit Western Tidewater by 10.

Alexander expects one to two inches of snow on the ground by noon and another two inches this afternoon. Precipitation may mix with sleet as it warms up this afternoon.

The chance of snow will be 100 percent between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m., he said.

“There’s still a good chance of light precipitation after 5 p.m., probably ending around midnight,” Alexander said.

Also in preparation for the storm, all schools in Western Tidewater were closed today. All locations for the Children’s Center also closed. The Franklin School Board meeting is canceled for tonight.

At Franklin’s Walmart, manager Shonda Hill said shoppers were stocking up on the normal — milk and eggs. And at the nearby Food Lion, it was canned goods, chips and junk food, said customer service manager Cindee Cross.

“They’re preparing to stay home for the day,” Cross said.

Dail’s Home Center on Armory Drive was seeing a run on ice melt and propane for gas grills, said cashier Suzi Council.

“We sold a fair amount yesterday and some this morning,” Council said.

As for going home at 4 p.m. today — in what could be the midst of the storm — she’s not too concerned.

“I’ve got a four-wheel drive,” Council said.