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Threatening weather send shoppers scurrying

January 02, 1999|By DAN KULIN /Staff Writer

For Martin's Food Market manager Rick Patterson, the snow-induced flood of customers began the moment he arrived for work at 9 a.m. Saturday.

"We had half the city in here," he said. "And they were buying everything in sight. And mostly, bread and eggs."

At times, Patterson said, all nine checkout lines were 20 to 25 people deep in the Waynesboro, Pa., store.

Shovels, ice-melting chemicals and salt were also flying off the shelves from Pennsylvania to West Virginia, as residents braced for the Tri-State area's first significant winter storm of the season.

At Wal-Mart in Frederick, Md., more than 700 bags of ice-melting salt and 60 shovels were sold between Friday night and Saturday afternoon, according to Rosemarie McDannell, a co-manager at the store.

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"About noon, you couldn't even walk in here. They were buying milk, bread, hats, gloves, boots, laundry detergent ... everything," McDannell said.

By about noon, the bakery at the Barnhart's Supermarket in Inwood, W.Va. had begun baking loaves of bread to meet demand.

"We were bombarded as soon as we opened," said Dana Benton, a market manager. "It happens with every snow storm Once the flakes start falling, they really pour in here."

While the snow was a sign of headaches for some, it was a welcome sight to others.

Whitetail Ski Resort in Mercersburg, Pa., received between 3 and 6 inches of new snow Saturday, with more snow falling on the top of the mountain, according to resort spokeswoman Rachel Nichols.

The resort struggled with warm temperatures in December and has only had nine of 17 trails open. Although Saturday's storm did not produce enough snow to open another trail, Nichols said it is still good for business.

"The new snow helps turn people's minds back to their winter snow," she said. "It helps lot in terms of perception."

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