Local grocers race to restock as storm nears

Monday, January 31, 2011 | 9:09 a.m. CST; updated 3:00 p.m. CST, Sunday, February 13, 2011

COLUMBIA – Columbia grocery stores were rushing to refill their stocks on Monday morning after people stocked up on basic necessities in advance of a disruptive winter storm.

The rush started on Sunday, and grocers reported an abnormal number of customers.

“It was about as twice as busy as a normal Sunday,” Matt Rohe, assistant store director for Hy-Vee on Broadway, said. “Meat and potatoes, staples.”

Hy-Vee ran out of milk by the end of Sunday and was running low on bread. The store was out of Ice-Melt until Tuesday.

The store was pulling in more employees and trying to build up inventory as much as possible before the storm hits.

“We’re baking more product, getting more people in,” Rohe said. “It was kind of short notice.”

Walmart on Grindstone also felt the rush.

“It was very busy, out of the ordinary busy,” Josh Little, store manager, said on Monday morning. “People are buying basic necessities — food, water, toiletries.”

Although Monday was expected to be another abnormally busy day, Little said he didn't see any problem with having enough stock.

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