Stocking for the storm again

Snow shovels are hard to find on shelves at Fusek Hardware downtown.
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Friday evening saw sunshine and still-salty sidewalks. But with more heavy snow on the way, the sight of salt fresh off the hardware store deliver truck was sweet.

"Ice melt has been increasingly difficult to get from suppliers," said Michael Gunning with Fusek Hardware downtown. "Our main suppliers ran out. We've had to go to secondary suppliers and they're running low - if not running out - by this time of the season."

For stores like Fusek Hardware, it's meant scrambling for suppliers with the seasons all scrambled, too.

"We've already started getting potting soil for spring, now we're worried about a major snow storm here and we're ordering ice melt," Gunning said.

Car windshield ice scrapers are almost sold out. There won't be any more here and that's not all.

"We're out of snow shovels. Five left and that's it," Gunning said.

"The lines were long, but you can see I was prepared and had the guy put the bag of salt in my car," said Cindy Barnes after a stop at the Marsh store downtown.

Cindy's not so much worried about groceries, but worried about work.

"I'm a contractor," she said, "and we have a lot of jobs going on and stuff and people won't be able to get to work."

"Maybe I bought a thing or two I wouldn't have," said another shopper, "just to make sure we had it."

With snow and cold coming in, that must-have for Cindy?

"Only pot roast," she said. "We wanted comfort food for Sunday."

"Salmon, tuna, prime rib, but you can get a pizza," said restaurant, banquet hall and hotel owner Linton Calvert, who owns the Fountain Square Theatre Building.

Here and at many of food and fun spots, it's been a long winter that's cut into the bottom line.

"Roads, traffic tend to be a problem," Calvert said. "But we will survive. Obviously, we hate to have all this snow."

In his kitchens, crews prepared for the weekend despite threatening weather.

"Preparing for a wedding reception and some events in our bowling alleys," Calvert said.

But he also looks on the bright side. Last weekend saw nice weather.

"People get so bottled up staying inside, it balloons into a real good weekend when the weather does open up," he said.