Grocery stores seeing brunt of storm-prep shoppers

Stores hurry to restock after pre-storm buyers load up on some staples.

Grocery stores in the area saw an influx of customers late Tuesday and early Wednesday ahead of this week’s forecasted winter storm.

Parking lots were packed and check out lines were longer than normal at Kroger stores in Vandalia and in north Dayton, according to customers at both locations.

“It’s crazy in there today,” said Heidi Reynolds after exiting the Kroger on Northwoods Boulevard in Vandalia.

Reynolds, of Tipp City, said she typically shops every Tuesday, and this week was no different, impending snow storm or not. A mom to three boys in school, she said she’s not overly concerned about the incoming weather, noting that she trusts the Tipp City School District to make the decision to close schools if necessary.

“Are you from Ohio? ... No, I’m not worried about it,” she said, adding that while she’s not concerned for her own safety, she does feel for those whose livelihood involves driving during winter events like these.

Whether grocery stores were well-stocked or out of items varied from store to store, and varied by time of day. Several stores in Springfield — Walmart, Meijer, Kroger and Groceryland — were fully stocked with staples like milk, bread and eggs early Wednesday morning.

On Tuesday afternoon at multiple Kroger locations, items like toilet paper, bread, and milk were still available, though not fully stocked. But frozen foods and prepackaged meats were well picked-over at multiple stores. In Vandalia, employees were diligently restocking items in nearly every section of the store throughout the afternoon.

At the Siebenthaler Avenue Kroger location, resident Cassandra Lewis said she knew the store was busy as soon as she entered the parking lot and saw the only available spots were in the back.

She, too, said she’s not particularly worried about the storm.

“I’m not going anywhere tomorrow,” she said.

Lewis said the store was missing a few of her items, including macaroni and chips, but she was able to get the bulk of what she needed.

At Meijer in Huber Heights, the line to check out wrapped around the front of the store at one point, but it dissipated quickly.

Brenda Cline, of Northridge, said she didn’t notice a larger crowd than usual there. She said she was able to find everything she needed, except for sidewalk salt.

“We’ve gone to four different stores trying to find salt,” she said.

Fred Peeks, who shops at the Siebenthaler Kroger, said he was able to find sidewalk salt there Tuesday afternoon, and had no trouble getting everything else on his list.

Peeks, 77, said he’s been through enough snow events to know what to expect. He reminisced about the 1978 blizzard, which covered the Dayton region in over a foot of snow, bringing with it high wind gusts and widespread power outages.

“I’ve seen a lot of these before,” he said. “I remember the blizzard of ‘78 and it was incredible. I actually got up and went to work (during the storm) ... I had a ‘73 Vega and it made it there and back home.”

On Tuesday night, the shelves for eggs, milk, chips and bread were nearly bare in Kroger’s Springboro location. Long lines formed at the registers as people purchased food in preparation for the storm.

“I didn’t really need anything for the house, but I was just like the rest of us and wondered what the excitement was when I was driving past the parking lot,” Evan Rowe of Franklin said.

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