Grocery stores struggle to keep shelves stocked ahead of winter storm

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – Before the winter storm arrived inNortheast Arkansas, grocery stores had a tough time keeping their shelvesstocked of certain items.

Potentially icy roads and the threat of power outages sentcustomers into a buying frenzy, snatching up everything from bread and bananasto milk and muffins.

Bread became especially scarce at the Hay's grocery store onGee Street in Jonesboro. People that came to the store late Thursday morning foundonly empty bread shelves and assurances that more would come in a couple ofdays.

"Yesterday, we had about six racks [of bread], and we wentthrough all those within about three hours," Garrett Combs, the store'sassistant manager, said. "First thing this morning around 7, he brought inabout four racks, and he stocked all of them. At about 10:30 [a.m.], we soldout of almost all that within just three or four hours of time."

Combs said customers have bought up bread much faster thanthe store anticipated, but suggested that's because so many people have picked upmultiple loaves at a time.

"I had a lady earlier, I think she had about six loaves," hesaid. "She said she expected to be out a week or so, so she wanted to makesure she had plenty of that stuff there."

In addition to bread, customers have quickly cleared out thestore's milk and egg supplies, too. These food items are not the only things inshort supply, so are the shopping carts apparently.

"At one point yesterday," Combs said, "I think we had onecart left in the store, and we had to run out and gather them in. We realizedeverybody was using them, and we didn't have any to spare at the moment."

Customer Scarlett Yates of Brookland luckily got breadas well as everything else on her lengthy shopping list. At this point, however, she ismore concerned about losing power than getting enough food to fill hercupboards for the next few days.

"As long as I can keep my electricity, I don't care if I'msnowed in or iced in for weeks," Yates said. "As long as I have electricity, I'mgood."

If people want to buy milk, bread or eggs at least at Hay'son Gee Street, they may be out of luck until the weekend. Employees said theearliest they can get another truckload of bread in is Saturday.

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