Last minute crowds flock to stores to prep for ice storm

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SHERMAN, TX -- With many schools and businesses closing Thursday, local residents spent their time preparing their homes and cars, flooding local stores for last minute items.

Grocery stores and home improvement stores were packed all day, as people got out to get last minute necessities.

Some people compared it to Black Friday.

"It's not quite as bad, but still pretty hectic," Walmart Co-manager Tim Shaver said.

The Walmart in Sherman had to call in extra help.

"We have been extremely busy. People are kind of in, for lack of a better word, a state of panic," Shaver said.

Shoppers, like Kelsi Riffe, said panic is an accurate description.

"Pretty crazy out there actually," she said.

Shaver said the basics, like bread, milk and canned foods are flying off the shelf - but they don't anticipate running out.

"We do have an emergency contingency plan built in from the company, we will continue to receive shipments of food," he said.

Shoppers braved busy crowds as everyone rushed to get home before the worst hits.

"We stocked up on whatever we could find, really. Mostly stuff we could eat if the power goes out," Shopper Spurgeon Ham said.

Donald Dickerson, Sherman resident, said he grew up in West Virginia, and knows how to prepare for an ice storm like this one.

"I bought canned goods, pasta, basic needs around the house so me and my wife don't have to come out," he said.

At Home Depot, some of the more popular items have been firewood, duct tape, lighters, gas cans and insulation items - like tape and pipe wraps.

But Larry Murley, sales manager, said some things like generators might be hard to find.

"Our generators are gone, we ran out of generators yesterday afternoon," he said.

Murley said they've been packed since Wednesday, as preppers rush to buy sand, ice melt and heaters - and he doesn't expect it to slow.

"There's gonna be tree limb issues with the ice and everything, so people will be coming in buying chainsaws, hand saws, blades, extension cords," he said.

Home Depot and Wal-Mart both said they plan to stay open through the storm, electricity permitting.

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