September 19, 2014

Elyria
Cloudy
55°F
test

Shovels a hot item before the storm hit

ELYRIA — There was a mad rush to the cash register Saturday as worried residents got ready to face the worst Old Man Winter could throw this way.

By the time the first flakes started bombarding the county about 1 p.m., some store owners were knee-deep in green but low on the essentials — shovels, rock salt and bottled water.

“It’s December in Ohio. Everybody’s getting ready to hunker down for the worst of it,” said Charlie Palmer, owner of Watson’s Hardware in Oberlin.

He had sold about 25 shovels by mid-afternoon and said snow brushes and ice scrapers for cars were another hot commodity. Other shoppers were hunting for emergency flashlights.

Zack Hardy, an employee at Farm & Home Hardware in Wellington, said he sold about 150 60-pound bags of sand and was expecting to move another 50 by closing time. The store also sold six snowblowers early in the day, he said.

“Most people are expecting to get it bad,” he said. “They don’t want to be caught unprepared.”

In Amherst, shoppers were keeping IGA owner Bob Lane busy restocking shelves with bottled water, bread and milk.

He said the storm was driving about 75 percent more business than usual.

“Everybody’s panicking, but that’s normal. It’s good for us,” he said.

Contact Jason Hawk at 329-7148 or jhawk@chroniclet.com.