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Businesses work to meet storm needs

With three winter storms hitting Lawrence County in less than a week, bringing several inches of ice and snow, businesses in the region are working to meet the needs of residents impacted in the region.

At Iron City Hardware, owner Jim Hacker said that they have seen high demand for sidewalk salt, propane heaters, kerosene heaters, shovels and other items.

“We’re really busy,” he said. “Everybody has been looking for heaters.”

He said they have been trying to keep up with demand, stating they had been “cleaned out” of many of the items and were restocking them as quickly as possible.

Hacker said the store became busy last Friday, then demand ratcheted up big on Monday before the second storm hit.

He said that demand for sidewalk salt was so high, they were selling it as quickly as it could be unloaded from the truck that day.

With the third storm on Wednesday bringing a sizeable snowfall, Hacker said sleds have also been in high demand, with the store selling out of its initial supply of 200 of them.

“People have been grabbing them up,” he said. “It’s been pretty wild.”

Propane for heaters has been in high demand throughout the region.

Chesapeake council member Paul Hart said Thursday that he saw long lines at Bosley Propane in the west end of Huntington, while those working at Arrick’s Propane in Hanging Rock said they have been extremely busy as well.

With power down throughout the region, some have working to help out the crews restoring service.

Katie Vetter, marketing director for Schmidt Family Restaurant Group, which owns 30 Wendy’s franchises in the region, said they are offering free meals to crews.

“We started last week,” she said. We felt it was hard for those workers who were out in the cold.”

She said as the situation worsened with more storms this week, the company also expanded the free meals for workers to include their Buffalo Wild Wings locations in Portsmouth, Ironton and Gallipolis in Ohio, as well as Pikeville and Morehead in Kentucky.