The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

February 6, 2010

Snow storm has states scrambling

WASHINGTON — Stores ran low on milk, bread and snow shovels and federal workers were sent home early Friday as the second major snow storm in less than two months bore down on the Mid-Atlantic.

Up to 28 inches of heavy, wet snow accompanied by powerful winds were forecast in Washington, Baltimore and surroundings. That could be a historic snowfall for the nation’s capital, where the record stands at 28 inches in January, 1922.

Airlines canceled flights across the region and school districts closed for the day ahead of the winter storm forecast from Virginia and West Virginia across Maryland into southern New Jersey and Pennsylvania. It was already snowing hard in Richmond, Va., on Friday morning.

Residents in the Washington area scrambled for food and supplies, but many found they were too late.

“As you see, I’m in front of Whole Foods and half of the food is gone already,” Denise Wright said on a shopping trip for staples.

Colleen Sport, who just moved to the area from Atlanta, was at the Home Depot in Falls Church, Va.

“I was looking for salt and shovels and of course they’re out,” said Sport, 42. “Now I’m just hoping to get shelving and work inside.”

In Alexandria, Va., James Ivery, 60, and his wife had already bought supplies but were back at a Harris Teeter supermarket Friday morning to get out of the house one last time before the storm. Many shelves and bins were emptied of milk, vegetables, eggs and cold cuts.

“It just seems like people are panicking. I don’t think it’s going to be too bad,” Ivery said. “As long as I got power and satellite service, I’ll be fine.”

The federal government, the region’s largest employer, told workers they could take Friday off as unplanned leave and prepared to shut offices four hours early.

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