Food, fuel deliveries returning to normal

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Spot shortages of gasoline, french fries, milk and a host of other of life’s little luxuries could last until the weekend as local stores and restaurants work to replenish supplies depleted by the winter storm that has kept roads icy and impassable for several days.

Grocery store and fuel station officials said delivery trucks were beginning to arrive Tuesday and will continue to bring in goods this week, although some said it might be the weekend until the shelves and tanks are fully stocked.

Denton resident Clay Gilmore said he was a little surprised he couldn’t find some of his basic grocery items Tuesday afternoon.

“The whole week has been pretty crazy, but it’s not too bad,” he said. “We’re still able to find things to get us through the week with no problem, but all of the meals we’d rather eat will have to wait until later.”

National Weather Service meteorologists expect road conditions to improve significantly by this afternoon as temperatures rise, allowing delivery schedules to return to normal.

Local residents venturing out to grocery stores Tuesday noticed that many still did not have supplies of milk, eggs, bread, produce and lunch meats that had been depleted earlier in the week.

Even restaurants experienced a shortage of supplies. The Whataburger at the intersection of University Drive and Malone Street posted it was out of french fries, lettuce, tomatoes and onions.

Various grocery store managers said the icy weather that swept across the region prevented delivery trucks from getting to their destinations. And on top of the delayed deliveries, residents flocked to the stores in preparation for the icy conditions, clearing the shelves of many basics. Most stores had sufficient supplies of canned foods, however, which they had stocked for the holiday season.

The same delays that hindered grocery trucks also affected fuel suppliers. Several gas stations in the area did not have gasoline Tuesday afternoon, or were dangerously close to being empty. Some had only the higher-priced high-octane gasoline available.

A few employees at various gas stations said they expect to be at normal operations by late today or early Thursday. However, they said it could take a while because people are still scrambling to fill their tanks.

County resident Sandra Dycus said her morning commute was “a little scary” because she didn’t know if she had enough gas to make it to work.

She said at one point a light warning her of low fuel began to flash.

“I usually fill up on Mondays at the start of the work week, but we were iced in and I didn’t get the chance,” she said. “So when I got up [Tuesday morning], my local station was empty by the time I got there. But luckily I found a station with enough gas to fill up.”

Some store managers are worried that because many people postponed grocery shopping last weekend, stores will be packed the following weekends through Christmas.

The last few weekends before Christmas are the busiest, and they are hoping for fewer delays.

JOHN D. HARDEN can be reached at 940-566-6882 and via Twitter at @JDHarden.


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