If you live in the South and you want food from the local supermarket, you may be too late.
An ice storm that has knocked out power to more than 225,000 customers in the Southeast also sparked a pre-storm panic, with Georgians rushing to the store to buy bread, milk and other food essentials – so much so that by the end of Tuesday, store shelves were empty.
Stores like Kroger and Publix remained open, but in most instances, there was little to buy.
One person who shopped for food during the rush Tweeted: “Empty bread shelf…people were fighting. Yes fighting.”
Another shopper Tweeted before the storm even hit: “Publix is out of bread.” Still another wrote on Twitter: “Atlanta is already panicking like a hurricane is coming.”
One woman at a store told a local TV station, “I have two eight-year old twins at home, and a husband, and they eat a lot.”
In Knoxville, Tennessee, one man Tweeted a picture of an empty produce section.
Hardware stores, too, saw many products such as salt, sand and shovels sell out quickly.
More than 3,000 flights were cancelled.
The National Weather Service had predicted the ice storm could be “catastrophic” for the region, knocking down power lines that could take days or weeks to repair, particularly in more rural areas.
“When you’re talking about the amount of ice we’re looking at, it’s catastrophic,” Aaron Strickland of Georgia Power told AllVoices.com. “What will happen is the ice will build up on trees, trees will come down and take down the power lines. … So it is an event that we are extremely fearful of…”
With overnight temperatures staying below freezing most nights in the next week, an extended period of time without power could be deadly. In one South Carolina county, 81 percent of customers were without power.
A two-inch January snowfall that caused a rush to the roads and a traffic catastrophe is still on the minds of many Atlanta residents. During that storm, some drivers were stranded on the road for 24 hours.
The current storm also was causing traffic nightmares. In Raleigh, N.C., traffic was at a near-standstill, moving at a rate of about 80 feet an hour, according to BreakingNews.com.