First Taste of Snow in Forecast
As Moore County girds for its first taste of winter weather, local grocery stores are bracing for a surge in sales of staples such as bread and milk.
"We've already been busy this (Thursday) morning," said Elizabeth Bullard, general manager of the Piggly Wiggly in Vass.
Moore County is under a winter storm watch, and meteorologists at the National Weather Service are keeping a close eye on conditions that could bring the area a wintry mix of sleet, freezing rain and snow tonight and into Saturday morning.
The watch is in effect through Saturday evening.
Meteorologists say snow could begin falling early this afternoon, with little or no accumulation expected. The precipitation should turn to rain or freezing rain overnight, becoming all rain by early Saturday morning. Snow flurries are also possible throughout the day Saturday, but total precipitation is expected to be an inch or less.
"By Sunday daybreak, everything looks to be over," said Brandon Dunstan, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Raleigh.
Temperatures should remain in the 30s much of the weekend, with highs reaching near 40.
Dunstan said areas northwest of Moore County could see snow accumulations of up to three or four inches.
Any time bad weather is in the forecast, area grocery stores can expect a surge in customers.
"Everybody will see a few extra customers," said Ricky Nance, assistant manager at Food Lion in Pinecrest Plaza.
Bullard said her store is well-stocked because of the holidays. She says her store likely will see an increase in sales of more than just milk and bread. Soups and snack foods are also popular items when bad weather is in the forecast.
"They (customers) will be looking for things they can eat if the power goes out, anything that is quick and easy to fix," Bullard said.
Burney True Value Hardware in Aberdeen saw an increase in business thanks to the winter weather forecast.
"We've already got a lot of calls about snow shovels, ice melt and sleds," store worker Kristy Ransdell said.
Ransdell said the store doesn't normally sell a lot of snow shovels, but it keeps them in stock "just in case." The most popular item so far is the ice melt.
"With this one (weather forecast) it seems like people are taking it seriously," Ransdell said.
On Thursday, the N.C. Depart-ment of Transportation prepared for winter weather by putting a salt brine solution on primary roads and key secondary roads in Moore, Lee, Chatham and Randolph counties and parts of Montgomery County. The salt brine pre-treats road surfaces by sticking to pavement and keeping ice from bonding to the roadway during the first few hours of winter weather.
Southern Pines public works crews were also out putting down the salt brine solution on town roads and streets.
Travelers can call 511, the state's toll-free travel information line, for up-to-date information on road conditions.
Dunstan urged residents to be careful when driving on the roads Friday night and Saturday.
"Moore County is really on the edge of this, but that doesn't mean people shouldn't be careful," he said. "There is still a potential for black ice, especially on bridges and overpasses."
Contact Tom Embrey at (910) 693-2484 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
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