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Residents brace for possible snow bomb

March 03, 2001

Residents brace for possible snow bomb



By DAN KULIN

dank@herald-mail.com

Groceries, salt and shovels were moving fast out of Hagerstown area stores Saturday as residents readied for a major snowstorm that was predicted to hit the East Coast from Virginia to New England today.

"Busy" was the word from area grocery stores, as managers and other staff were put into cash register duty to deal with the swelled ranks of shoppers.

"We're probably twice as busy as normal," said Eric Hahn, grocery manager at Weis Markets on the corner of Eastern Boulevard and Dual Highway in Hagerstown.

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"People are buying milk, bread, eggs, toilet paper. The usual stuff," Hahn said.

The Food Lion at Halfway Boulevard and Virginia Avenue had done a normal Saturday's worth of sales by 4 p.m., said Eddie Smith, store second assistant manager.

"People are just shopping heavy. They're afraid of being snowed in two or three days," Smith said.

He said that in the morning, the supermarket was so busy managers were working on the cash registers.

Paul Martellucci, co-manager at the Wal-Mart Supercenter at the Centre at Hagerstown, estimated they were three times as busy as a normal Saturday.

Sales floor employees were switched to register work, and all 37 registers were open at Wal-Mart, Martellucci said.

"A lot of our customers have mentioned (the snowstorm). But it's not supposed to hit until tomorrow so we could be just as busy tomorrow," he said.

At Lowe's of Hagerstown on Wesel Boulevard, a combination of shoppers preparing for the storm and others preparing for the spring planting season caused a busier than normal Saturday, said manager Jim Howard.

"Some people are buying salt, shovels, sand to put in the back of their vehicles. Others are buying mulch and fertilizer. Those are the optimists," Howard said.

Meteorologists are warning of the possibility that a major nor'easter could pile a foot or more of snow across the region.

Hahn, at Food Lion, said, "I expect it'll be busy until the first snow flake."

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