Desperate times call for desperate measures in Washington according to Craig Jones, owner of Ace-N-More Hardware, who reports his customers are buying everything from water softener salt to pool salt to keep their sidewalks safe. Jones says because of the polar vortex and frequent ice storms, he cannot keep the product on his shelves.
“We got 100 bags on Saturday and it was gone by 12:30,” he said, commenting they only opened the store at 9 a.m. that morning. He said he purchased the same amount of salt he usually does because the ice has not been this bad in previous years.
“We keep running out, but we do have more coming,” he said. “The (Ace) warehouse had over 3,000 bags the other day and sold out within six hours. It’s widespread so it will create a bigger problem if it keeps coming.”
At O’Reilly Auto Parts, Store Manager Stacee Vayan said she too is having a problem keeping purchasing supplies from the O’Reilly warehouse. She said they have completely sold out of salt and are unable to get more in but thankfully did not run out of car batteries like last year.
“With our sales, they saw that we did run out last year so they gave us extra this year,” she said. “We didn’t have huge battery sales until the day after (the storm). They kind of stayed home and stayed warm.”
Vayan said the store has run out of diesel treatment and power service but has been able to get them back in same-day.
“I mean this is a normal Iowa winter, minus all the ice, but after 10 years of not having that much snow, we got used to it and we got spoiled,” she said.
Back at Ace-N-More, Jones said if the Ace Warehouse runs out he is able to purchase smaller amounts from another vendor, but salt is not the only thing he has run out of. He said the store completely sold out of snowblowers and estimates they have sold around 300 shovels since the first snow of the year. He said every cold-weather essential has been flying off his shelves, making restocking a constant.