Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

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January 9, 2014

Stores restock after blizzard

Many struggle to keep up with demand as deliveries are delayed

Bread and milk may still be in short supply in Kokomo, but stores are gradually restocking their groceries following Sunday’s blizzard.

Customers flocked to stores as early as Friday to stock up before the impending winter storm, which brought 10.5 inches of snow Sunday followed by bitterly cold temperatures Monday and Tuesday.

The icy roads delayed delivery trucks early this week and local grocers struggled to keep up with demand.

“Friday was crazy busy, Saturday and then even Sunday,” said Charisse Thill, manager of Kroger, 2821 S. Washington St.

On Monday, when the city of Kokomo and Howard County were under a travel warning that meant only emergency personnel should be on the roads, Kroger still saw 800 customers.

“That’s quite a few for being a blizzard and nobody supposed to be on the road,” Thill said.

Most people have bought just a few items at a time this week, stocking up on bread, eggs, milk, prepared dinners and soup, she added.

“About the only thing we’re out of right now is bread, and we’re expecting a delivery any minute,” Thill said Wednesday morning.

Marsh Supermarket, 1401 N. Washington St., had been out of milk for three days as of Wednesday.

“We had a few [delivery] guys in this morning; a chip guy and a bread guy,” said assistant manager Mike Nezo. “I’m hoping the milk guy comes soon.”

Nezo said the last time he can remember such a rush for groceries was the blizzard that hit Kokomo in 1978. Bread, milk and eggs have been customers’ top priority this week, he added.

“It started Friday night and just kept going,” Nezo said.

Kokomo’s Walmart was one of 14 in the region that closed Sunday night through Monday morning due to the weather. The store got busy Saturday as people prepared to get snowed in.

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