Johnson County residents emptied the store shelves of more than just basic food supplies in the hours before the storm hit.
Store managers said they’d never seen anything like the rush.
Yes, bread, milk and eggs were gone.
But so were fresh fruit, chili ingredients and potatoes.
Shoppers at two stores bought out the staples by early Saturday evening.
The turnout was bigger than on Christmas Eve or the day before Thanksgiving at Main Street Market in Franklin. Those days before a holiday usually bring in twice the 500 to 700 shoppers typical for a Saturday, co-manager Danielle Wood said. The store also ran out of potatoes, ground beef and chili beans, and sold tens of thousands of dollars more in groceries than expected, she said.
Customers told her that many other stores in the area were out of the basic grocery items people were looking for, she said.
“We’re getting a lot of calls – ‘Do you have bread, eggs or milk?’ There’s only so much you can do,” she said Saturday evening.
The store was able to restock some of the bread heading into Sunday. But Wood wasn’t expecting a truck of perishable items, such as potatoes and lettuce, which also sold out, until Monday, she said.
The store was open Sunday and had about 50 customers come through by 9:30 a.m., which was busier than a typical Sunday morning, she said.
Hampton’s Market in Greenwood also sold all of its eggs, milk and loaves of bread Saturday, manager Debra Walker said.
Shoppers at the Marsh store on State Road 135 in Greenwood had bought out nearly all the bread there and also stocked up on milk and meat, manager Bob Schleicher said. Shoppers were stockpiling items, buying three loaves of bread when usually they’d purchase one, he said.
“The news usually puts people in a panic,” he said.
Bottled water and frozen pizzas were also big sellers at Hampton’s. The store had about 65 percent more than usual in sales Saturday, she said.
On Sunday, the store was still out of most eggs, milk and most types of bread, except some rye bread and rolls, and manger Chris Ferguson expected the store to close earlier than its typical closing time of 7 p.m. due to a lack of customers, he said.
“Almost every customer mentioned the storm,” she said. “I’ve worked here 12 years. I’ve never seen anything like this.”