CUMMING — Parking at the Publix in Tri-County Plaza was nearly as scarce as the shopping carts Monday afternoon.
It was the same scene at many grocery stores across Cumming and Forsyth County as residents prepared for the brunt of another winter storm, the state’s second in two weeks.
“I’m just being precautious, just in case,” said Sarah Sanchez, whose cart at Publix was filled with provisions such as bread, eggs and water.
A one-two punch of winter weather was expected to arrive Tuesday night. Rain and snow were forecast followed by sleet and freezing rain Wednesday. Ice on tree limbs and roads was a major worry for drivers and utility companies.
The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather watch until Tuesday night for northern parts of Georgia, including Forsyth County, and the same watch from Tuesday evening through Thursday for the metro Atlanta area.
And Gov. Nathan Deal declared a state of emergency hours ahead of the storm, something he didn't do two weeks ago when the Jan. 28 storm paralyzed Atlanta after two inches of snow fell.
Despite the crowds, many Forsyth retailers reported that their shelves were not barren entering the evening hours Monday.
“They still have milk, eggs, bread, meat — all of that is still stocked,” said Betsy Harden, a Walmart spokeswoman. “They’ve got as many registers open as possible and they’re trying to get folks in and out as quickly as they can.”
Referring to the governor’s declaration, Brenda Reid with Publix said it appeared “people have decided that they’re either going to stay home, or they’re going to get out right now ... keeping their pantries and refrigerators stocked, just in case.”
Reid said she anticipated food trucks would continue deliveries through Monday night to make “sure our stores are stocked with the products they need.”
“We’ll be able to get on the road tomorrow as well,” she said. “We’ll be stocking shelves as long as we can get on the road.”
Glynn Jenkins, a spokesman for Kroger, said the grocery chain has been busy. In addition to the common items, customers are also buying “hot cereals, soups, snacks and ingredients to make stews and chili.”
“Customers are bracing for the forecasted winter weather event,” Jenkins said. “Kroger plans to remain open … and is working diligently with our logistics team to receive product deliveries to fully replenish our shelves.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.