Published Thu, Jul 5, 2012 4:32 pm Dateline
Remember what happens when we have a prediction of a snow storm during the winter? Everyone runs out to get eggs, milk, and other provisions, whether they need them or not. Aisles at the grocery are clogged and often shelves are bare – unless one gets there early.
A similar phenomenon has occurred during this summer’s electrical crisis and after storm damage ravaged our area.
It was evident over the weekend as local residents without power took to the highways to buy gas and provisions and sometimes to bask in a few minutes of air conditioning or to seek out Wi-Fi enough to check email or to send a message.
The traffic snarl on East State St. seemed endless. Lines at gas stations resembled the rationing days of the Pres. Jimmy Carter administration – long and tedious and full of people with short fuses.
Simply put, there seemed like there were more people everywhere. But, was it true.
According to one merchant, the answer is a resounding yes.
Sales at the generator-powered Athens Kroger store increased by 35 percent in the days following the storm from the prior week, according to Jackie Siekmann, media and government relations manager for the Columbus Division.
She attributes part of the increase to having Wi-Fi. All Kroger stores with Starbucks, as in Athens, provide free Wi-Fi and customers came to the store not only to shop but to use the Internet as well, according to Siekmann.