Decatur customers empty stores of storm essentials

Nearly 40 customers were lined up at Intown Ace Hardware on Scott Boulevard in Decatur by the time co-owner Tony Powers was ready to open at 8 a.m. Tuesday.

He sold four pallets of ice melt in an hour and seven minutes and by late afternoon had sold all his firewood, kerosene, lanterns and every sled in the store. Generators were also in demand, and Powers said he sold seven in two hours.

“It’s been bananas,” said Powers, who estimated he’d slept only eight of the past 48 hours getting ready for the customer onslaught. “The phone won’t stop ringing – which is a bad problem to have if you don’t have anything to sell.”

Gene Reiley of Decatur stopped by the store to buy small propane tanks to power a small heater that his mother might need if she loses power at her home in Tucker.

“I think she’ll be fine,” said Reiley. “But you never know. You have to stock up just in case.”

Lynda Twilley bought a portable Weber charcoal grill.

“I can eat out of a can if I need to,” said Twilley. “But I need hot water for tea.”

Firewood was selling out at many area stores. Ashley Serebrenik struck out at four before she found a few remaining bags of wood chunks at The Woodshed on Medlock Road in DeKalb County. “This is it,” she said.

The Woodshed’s Bill Godboldt said the establishment had completely sold out of all its seasoned firewood and pointed to a few bags of pecan and hickory chunks – usually used in smokers – as all that remained.

“We’re done,” said Godboldt. “It’s been non-stop for two days.”

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