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Seattle hears snow forecast, descends on grocery stores like the apocalypse is coming

caption: The QFC in Redmond on Thursday night.
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The QFC in Redmond on Thursday night.
KUOW Photo/Jimmy Chong

The weatherman said that, worst-case scenario, 14 inches of snow might blanket Seattle over the weekend.

Hearing this, Seattle made like Supermarket Sweep and bought, literally, all the things. This was the QFC in Redmond on Thursday evening:

caption: The bread aisle at the QFC in Redmond.
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1 of 2 The bread aisle at the QFC in Redmond.
KUOW Photo/Jimmy Chong

At the Trader Joe’s in the University District a few hours earlier, lines stretched to the back of the store. Produce was still doing fine around 5 p.m., we heard, but sweet yums were out. We see you, college students.

At the Fred Meyer in Greenwood, shoppers vying to get into the parking lot caused a small traffic jam around 7 p.m.

At the Safeway in the University District, salt was completely sold out. “And it’s not just the rock salt,” said Steve Bailey, who was stocking shelves. “What was weird is that every single table salt was bought in one day.”

Soup has also been in high demand, he said.

PCC reported one of the highest sales days of all time, according to Kristin Sundberg of the marketing firm Edelman, which represents the food coop.

Top five items sold, she said, were avocados, sockeye salmon, celery and ground beef.

(A customer noted that the carrots had sold out, but the frisee remained. Seattle shows what it is really about in a snowpocalypse.)

Food wasn't the only item in high demand, of course. So too was ice melt (salt) and shovels. Both were sold out across the city but word had gotten out that Stoneway Hardware in Wallingford was getting a 9:30 a.m. shipment on Friday.

Cars screeched in at 9:30 on the nose, and drivers jumped out and pushed open the door to the store, not noticing the sign stuck to the door with blue painter's tape: the supply truck was late.

A few hours later, the shovels and the salt arrived.

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