Ice scrapers, de-icer fly off shelves during storm
A day of sleet and freezing rain Wednesday presented an opportunity for many local businesses.
A plethora of wintry precipitation sent many motorists scrambling to local hardware stores to make last-minute preparations. An informal survey, which included calls to auto parts stores around Comanche County, revealed that there were many who waited until the last minute to prepare for the cold blast that took over the area. Customers quickly realized that after a relatively dry and mild season, Old Man Winter can pack a nasty punch.
Auto Zone manager Stephanie Emperley said that "the store only had two ice scrapers left" as of about 11:15 a.m.
"De-icer and anti-freeze products are flying off the shelves this morning and it's been steady so far today," she said.
Adrienne Roosa, assistant manager of O'Reilly's, echoed that busyness.
"We have had very brisk sales of de-icer, wiper blades and scrapers this morning," she said. " From 8 until about 11:30 a.m., we have been inundated with customers, and it looks like it will stay busy until we close."
The story was similar at Roy's Auto Parts. Employee Tommy Barker said that customers were coming into the store at a brisk pace to get their hands on anything that could offer them relief from the ice. De-icers, wipers and ice scrapers were going fast and he wasn't sure how much longer his supplies could last.
"We are almost out of everything related to the inclement weather," Barker said. "We will probably shut down early this afternoon."
Lee Mayes, owner of Elgin Napa Auto Parts, said even area stores were feeling the icy punch. His store quickly running out of the essentials.
"We only have six or seven ice scrapers left and we have four cans of de-icer left out of three cases we had yesterday," Mayes said. "We have also sold 200 sets of wipers since yesterday, and anti-freeze is also selling like hot cakes."
Because of its rural location, Mayes said, his customers were coming in from all over Comanche County. They didn't just need relief for their vehicles, but also for other equipment used on their property.