Blast of winter

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 26, 2004

Suffolk News-Herald

Snow closed Suffolk Public Schools, Nansemond-Suffolk Academy, the city’s circuit courts, and many businesses, but the police were still in business Monday morning after the city got slammed with snow and ice.

Lt. Debbie J. George of the Suffolk Police Department said Monday that officers had responded to 11 accidents between the hours of midnight and 1 p.m., Monday.

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&uot;Considering the amount of snow we have and the fact that roadways were a solid sheet of ice during the night, you would think the number would be larger,&uot; said George. &uot;People seem to be staying off the roads today since the roadways are so treacherous now. We caution all drivers; don’t get on the road unless you absolutely must.)

Even with all the frozen slush on the roadways, Suffolk was spared as far as the fender-benders go. According to local business operators, people were using good judgment in this weather incident.

Kim Lyman, manager of Lowe’s, said the store saw its first customers around 10 a.m., Monday.

&uot;They were coming in for snow shovels, portable heaters, Duraflame logs, salt and deicer for their vehicles,&uot; said Lyman. &uot;We also sold a little extra firewood and kindling, but everything went smoothly and everyone seemed to be in good spirits. We still have a good supply of all those things, so we expect to see more people as soon as they begin moving around today.&uot;

Lyman added that she instructed her employees from Moyock and other Hampton Roads cities to avoid driving.

&uot;I am down to about half my regular staff but we are also down to about one-half our usual number of customers,&uot; said Lyman. &uot;That’s good with respect to their staying safe, warm and dry at home. No one should be driving unless it’s an emergency.&uot;

Pruden Hardware’s salesman Jim Hunnicutt said things were much the same at his store.

&uot;We have a whole lot less than usual number of customers coming in today,&uot; he said. &uot;From the time our first customer came in to the second, it took about an hour and he was my dad!&uot;

Hunnicutt said Pruden’s was selling wicks, oil and a little salt.

&uot;We haven’t even sold a great deal of salt considering the amount of ice out there,&uot; he added. &uot;People are reluctant to get out in this mess and we advise them; if you don’t have to go out, don’t.&uot;