Saturday, February 23, 2013
The winter storm heading for Kansas right on the heels of a storm that dumped more than a foot of snow in some places has depleted the inventories of Wichita hardware stores.
Shovels and sleds were nearly impossible to find Saturday. At least one store's manager is hopping to receive a new shipment of shovels just in time for the next storm to arrive Monday.
"We were debating whether or not to put it back into storage," Wayne Butterfield said of the winter inventory at Indian Hills Ace Hardware. "We were just waiting a few more days or we would have already had it off the shelves."
This week's winter storm helped get those items off the shelves. Most of them were items the store was not able to sell last year.
"Most of the supply we had was from last year because there was virtually no winter at all last year, so one is skeptical and hesitant to order in, especially this late in the season," Butterfield said.
He and other retailers have worked together to coordinate a rush shipment of shovels and other supplies. They are scheduled to arrive in Wichita early Monday morning.
Other businesses are also gearing up for another rush.
"We did about 200 calls, which is probably double of what we do each day," said Darryl Longpine, a supervisor at Tow Service.
Longpine said his drivers are trying to prepare for another call volume like they saw Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
"I don't know if you can ever prepare for that many calls," he said. "I mean, it was a mess. We had everything we owned out there working and it was just rough."
Longpine echoed advice given Saturday afternoon by state emergency management officials: Put a blanket, flashlight and other safety supplies in your car before Monday.
"In case we can't get to you, at least you can stay warm," he said.