Rain doesn’t keep folks at home

Published 12:02 pm Sunday, October 28, 2012

Huddling under an umbrella during the Franklin football game on Saturday were, from left in front, Kiara Lee, Alaya Cutler and Marshell Cutler; and in back, Aniyah Cutler, Aasja Jordan and Antron Cutler. -- GWEN ALBERS/TIDEWATER NEWS

FRANKLIN–At $1 a game, George Freeman never misses bowling with friends on Sunday mornings at Franklin Bowling Center.

Today’s 90 percent threat of rain from Hurricane Sandy and its expected 25 mph winds didn’t keep the 64-year-old at home this Sunday.

“It wasn’t bad,” Freeman said about the drive from his Gates, N.C., home.

While the Armory Drive bowling alley had its normal Sunday morning turnout, according to owner Chuck Guynn, Walmart got a break after three busy days

“It was like Christmas,” Walmart manager Shonda Hill said about Thursday through Saturday.

Shoppers were stocking up on soups, water, ice, milk and eggs.

With conditions expected to worsen as the day goes on, Hill still expected her after-church rush at the Franklin store. As for the rest of the day, Hill would have to wait and see.

“It depends on what track the storm takes,” she said.

Neil Drake, owner of Grayson and Emma’s Garden Center in Courtland, on Sunday was busier than he had expected.

“I’ve been surprised at the number of travelers,” said Drake, noting that 65 to 75 percent of his weekend business normally comes from travelers.

While pumpkins are traditionally big sellers the weekend before Halloween, they weren’t moving on Sunday.

“People have been coming in and picking up things to grill and getting soups and prepared food,” Drake said.

He expects to remain open for the duration of the storm unless it gets too dangerous for his employees. He has a generator in case power is lost.

As for Franklin Bowling Center, Guynn said weather events like this normally help business because people can’t be outside and want something to do. He planned to close early Sunday – 9 p.m. instead of the normal 10:30 to 11.

Huddle House waitress Katy Simmons said the Franklin restaurant on Sunday morning was slammed earlier than normal. Simmons assumed customers wanted to beat the weather.

Dajuan Everett was one such customer. The 25-year-old from Suffolk came out at about 10:30 to get breakfast and planned to stay home for the rest of the day.

“I hear it’s gonna get bad,” Everett said.