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Business up in advance of frigid temps

Brookhaven doesn’t get a lot of bad weather, but when it does,local merchants are ready to provide for the needs – and worries -of local citizenry.

The area is under a hard freeze watch through Sunday, andforecasters are predicting rain, sleet and possible snow throughthe next few days. Area residents are making sure they’ll be warmand fed if they end up stuck in their houses, local merchantssaid.

Meanwhile administrators in the Brookhaven and Lincoln Countyschools, including Brookhaven Academy, are keeping a close eye onconditions throughout Thursday. Officials are expected to make adecision Friday around 6 a.m. on whether or not to have classestomorrow, depending on the weather.

In other weather-related happenings, Herring Gas took 325 callsMonday from people who wanted to make sure their gas tanks werefull, said Office Manager Kay Martin. And there have been over 100calls every day since. That’s a lot of work for an office thatusually runs three trucks, she said.

“We’ve got extra trucks in helping us try to get caught up,” shesaid. “We’re working to get everyone taken care of. We’ll even beworking Saturday and Sunday.”

The office usually takes around 40 or 50 calls a day, Martinsaid.

“This is usual for nasty weather, but 325 in one day is a prettygood many,” she said.

Meanwhile, there has also been a rush on bread and canned goodsat local stores, as people are practically ready to hibernate ifneed be.

“We have to monitor the bread and canned meat and water,” saidPiggly Wiggly co-manager Violet Kyzar.

The rush on the grocery stores trickles down, too.

G-Store employee Kurwinder Kaur was at Piggly Wiggly Thursdaymorning buying as many bags of bread as she could carry. TheG-Store had already sold out, she said.

And while the basics like non-perishables and bread are flyingoff the shelves, Kyzar said the rush reaches outside the store aswell.

“Our gas sales have seen a huge rise,” she said. “They’ve morethan doubled.”

And people are also trying to prepare their vehicles, said localauto parts store employees. The rush on antifreeze, batteries,wiper fluid, and windshield wipers is on.

NAPA Auto Parts Manager Ricky Walker said when the mercury inthe thermometer starts to drop, he knows how to get ready for thetraffic in his store.

“We watch the weather and we can get it in the next day,” hesaid. “If I hear the weather is coming, I go ahead and get it inhere.”

Walker said his store has sold about 20 cases of antifreezesince Monday. One day, he said, the Lincoln County Sheriff’sDepartment called and bought all they had stocked.

“We’re selling it like hotcakes,” he said. “If someone says it’sgoing to get cold out there, everyone panics. We’ve sold 36batteries since Monday.”

De-icer and scrapers have also been big sellers, Walkersaid.

Local power company officials have stated that they are alsomonitoring the weather closely and have their emergency plansready. Not only are their own workers on call, but they are readyto call in contractors if backup is needed.

The National Weather Service said Thursday morning that rainwill affect the region throughout Thursday and some sleet could mixin later in the day.

The precipitation could end as a period of light sleet and snow,though no accumulations are expected. The freeze watch is in effectfrom Thursday evening through Sunday morning.