Storm slows down businesses, which remain open

Published 9:33 am Saturday, August 27, 2011

FRANKLIN—Things were a little slow at Edwards Hardware in Courtland on Saturday morning.

“I think people are hunkered down and waiting and seeing what’s going to happen,” said owner Bob Edwards.

That wasn’t the story on Friday when the Main Street store was “slammed” as people prepared for Hurricane Irene, which hit landfall at 7:30 a.m. in Cape Lookout, N.C.

“People were looking for generators, generator cords, generator plugs, batteries, flashlights,” Edwards said.

This morning, he was waiting for a truck with more generators that he pre-sold.

If he has electricity, Edwards will be remaining open over the weekend; he normally closes at 12:30 p.m. Saturday and is closed on Sunday.

“We will be open if the need provides that,” he said. “It (the storm) does seem to have been downgraded and taken a bit of an easterly course. I don’t anticipate it will be as bad as we thought.”

The story at Lowe’s in Franklin was “quiet” this morning, said Assistant Manager Vince Antezana.

Friday was a different story. The Armory Drive store got in 50 generators at 5 p.m. and was sold out by closing at 9.

He assumes if there’s damage, business will pick up.

“People might need chainsaws and cleanup things,” Antezana said.

Jimmie Ricks, owner of Vickie’s Country Store in Courtland, said it was business as usual on Saturday morning. The regular crowd was there for hot dogs, coffee and gossip.

The talk was the weather.

“Most of it was about the reporters who overplayed it,” Ricks said.

The Comfort Inn in Franklin is booked for tonight as it was on Friday.

Employee Barbara Bowley said the Armory Drive motel’s 76 rooms were all taken by 3 p.m. Friday due to the storm.

Guests were from “Norfolk, Chesapeake, Virginia Beach, Suffolk and Virginia Department of Transportation,” she said.

Thirty-five rooms for Sunday remained available on Saturday morning.