PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — An endless string of snow-panicked shoppers filled grocery store lines in Pittsburgh on Friday, with a forecast of one to three inches.
One destination was Kuhn’s Market on Banksville Road. Cashier Matt Keller says it’s been non-stop.READ MORE: Cold And Flu Season Meets COVID-19: Keeping Your Immune System Strong
“It’s been kind of crazy, you know. You would think we were having a big store giveaway,” said Keller. “With all our things here, you know. Everything just flying off the shelves and running out of stock, and whatnot. You would think the Apocalypse was coming.”
“A little couple of flakes and they all panic,” says bagger Armand Roberts.
He has seen it all before. Long lines – and full shopping baskets.
“Six cans of chicken noodle soup, some lunch meat, some bread and some milk” says one shopper, examining his shopping cart. “The usual essential items, you know.”
Snow-panic shopping is a time honored custom. The lunch counter’s as busy as a New York deli. And why do we wait till now, before realizing we may need salt for the sidewalk?
The old cliché is true. Toilet paper was in short supply, and shoppers made a dent in the dairy case.
“We don’t have any cows in the back,” Roberts adds.
Sure, the grocery stores were packed Friday, but for the many who’ll be bottled up at home this weekend, a different sort of help is available.READ MORE: Pittsburgh Weather: Strong Storms Including Possible Tornadoes In Wednesday's Forecast
Business was also booming for a beer distributor in Mount Lebanon.
Owner Wayne Crouse says he does well when there’s snow on tap.
“We’re up about 25 percent. Any time a storm comes through, people sort of panic,” he said. “They need supplies at the grocery store, and beer is always at the top of their list.”
At a wine and spirits store in East Liberty, regional administrator Jordan Fate says pre-snow wine and spirits sales are up 15 percent.
“That thought of being trapped at home, and not having that extra bottle of wine that you probably should have bought. It’s a good thing for us, though. We enjoy the increased business,” Fate said.
Cinnamon whiskey and Fireball have become seasonal favorites, though many still prefer wine for winter cocooning.
“I knew I would be in for the weekend with my roommate watching movies,” said a shopper from Forest Hills, “and usually that includes a glass of wine or two.”
But appearances can be deceiving.
“I love snow,” said a woman from Aspinwall. “I wish we were getting more of it. I’m not stocking up, despite what it looks like.”
For Cassie Brandon, it was a choice between two options.MORE NEWS: Pedestrian Killed In Hit-And-Run Crash In Washington County
“Giant Eagle was packed. People are panicking. So that’s why I’m here,” she said.