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Bread, milk and rock salt

LaGRANGE – The weather outside is frightful – and so was the inside of most local grocery stores on Friday as locals rushed to stock up on the essentials before snow fell.

Local grocery and hardware stores worked hard on Friday to keep up with the high demand for the items on everybody’s weekend shopping list: bread, milk and rock salt.

“This is an everyday snow scare,” said Food Depot Store Manager Jack Johnson. “Folks are stocking up on bread, milk, hamburger meat, buns (things like that).”

Food Depot plans to be open today despite the storm, and the store has a generator if the power goes out and plans to bring in dry ice for the freezer cases if necessary.

“We’ll try to be here so that they can get what they need,” said Johnson. “(We) take care of our customers.”

Other grocery stores – like Walmart’ Neighborhood Market – also plan to stay open following the storm while many others are “playing it by ear” to see how bad the snow and ice will be on the roads and if employees will still be able to get to work.

Meanwhile, hardware stores saw a steady stream of customers coming in to buy faucet covers and products like Winter Melt for “salting” driveways and walkways.

If pipes do freeze, the Red Cross recommends turning on the faucet to check if pipes are in fact frozen and if so, leaving the faucet on because running water in the pipe ill help melt ice in the pipe. To defrost the pipe, apply heat to the section of pipe closest to the cold using a portable space heater, hair drier or by wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. Continue to apply heat until water pressure is restored. If you are unable to locate the frozen part of the pipe or if you cannot thaw the pipe, the Red Cross recommends calling a licensed plumber.

Storms can sometimes also lead to downed power lines. If a line goes down in your neighborhood do not go near the down line, and if you are on city power call 706-883-2030 to report the issue.

If the power does go out, residents are encouraged to avoid opening refrigerators and freezers, to listen for weather updates on a battery powered radios, to check on elderly neighbors or those who may have medical conditions or use medical machinery that operates on electricity and use wood stoves and fireplaces to keep warm. Residents are reminded not to use outdoor-type heaters inside because they create highly toxic fumes that can kill.

Even with the power up and running, ready.gov recommends staying indoors as much as possible, keeping dry and changing wet clothing frequently to prevent loss of body heat and driving only if absolutely necessary during times of extreme cold or snowstorms.

Reach Alicia B. Hill at alicia.hill@lagrangenews.com or at 706-884-7311, Ext. 2154.

When you can do so safely, we’d love to see your photos of the winter weather. Please include your name and where the photo was taken. Email photos to Jennifer.shrader@lagrangenews.com or send them via message to the LaGrange Daily News’ Facebook page. Photos may be included in the Monday edition of the Daily News.