Fayette County

Storm forecast proves a boon for Lexington’s economy

All of the checkouts were in use at Kroger, 3101 Richmond Rd. in Lexington, Ky., Thursday, January 21, 2016. With a major winter storm in the forecast, many local businesses were seeing a big increase in business today. All of the checkout registers had been in use since early this morning.
All of the checkouts were in use at Kroger, 3101 Richmond Rd. in Lexington, Ky., Thursday, January 21, 2016. With a major winter storm in the forecast, many local businesses were seeing a big increase in business today. All of the checkout registers had been in use since early this morning. cbertram@herald-leader.com

With forecasts calling for mounds of snow Friday, many in Lexington spent Thursday snatching up shovels, bread, milk, sleds, chocolate, and other important supplies for surviving a snow storm.

At the Kroger on Richmond Road, snow shovels were sold out, and bread and milk went fast.

“This is the worst I’ve ever seen it,” Chris Baker said of the midday crowds that had forced every checkout line to open. Baker was picking up groceries for himself and his elderly parents.

Caroline Hale scanned the almost-empty bread shelves.

“I can’t find my favorite kind of bread,” she said. “I’m trying to decide whether to try a new kind or not.”

Fayette County Public Schools students had already been home Wednesday and Thursday when schools closed, so some larders already needed restocking.

In addition to bread and milk, some shoppers gathered whatever favorite foods are needed for a possible big storm. For Joshua Naylor, it was SpaghettiOs, fried bologna and cereal. For Delena Jackson, chocolate ice cream.

“I think it’s going to be a big one,” Jackson said.

Brenda Mullins stacked her cart with milk and diet soda.

“Sometimes I think they over hype it,” she said of the storm. “But it’s good to be prepared.”

That seemed to be the overwhelming sentiment at Chevy Chase Hardware, where ice-melting products, colorful plastic sleds and, for a bit, snow shovels made a steady exodus out the door.

About 200 shovels had arrived that morning by truck, manager Will Edwards said. They were all gone after about 90 minutes.

“The line was stretched out back 20 people,” he said.

Another truck dropped off three pallets of ice-melting chemicals, so there was plenty left by Thursday afternoon.

At Lexington Outdoor Power Equipment, manager Jason Stinnett had ordered 19 snow blowers Thursday morning. By Thursday afternoon, all but two were bought.

Ty Thompson was one of those customers. He said he needs a blower because too much exertion from shoveling could exacerbate an eye injury.

“Snowblowers will cover up to 12 inches, so tomorrow we may have to go out twice,” he said.

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