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Shoppers Descend Upon City Grocery Stores Ahead of Cold Snap

By Chloe Riley | January 4, 2014 7:34pm
 Anticipation of cold and snowy weather saw long lines and dwindling produce at Wicker Park's Jewel-Osco.
Wicker Park Jewel
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WICKER PARK — The Jewel-Osco at 1341 N. Paulina St. was slammed Saturday evening with extra shoppers rushing to stock up before temperatures reach subzero levels Sunday.

"It's pretty crazy in there," said 30-year-old Logan Square resident Neill Manley.

"I feel bad for all the employees," Manley's shoping partner, Alysa Lewis said.

"Hell. It's like hell in there. Can I say hell? It's terrible," said Holly Newcomm, 30, of Noble Square.

Several produce sections were wiped out in the Wicker Park Jewel Saturday afternoon, with long lines to check out and cars circling for spots in the parking lot.

Ukrainian Village resident Paul Hernandez, who originally stopped at Jewel Saturday to complete his regular shopping, said he went back to buy extra groceries after hearing about the snowy and cold weather forecast for the next few days.

"I figure I might not be leaving the apartment for a few days," Hernandez, 45, said. "Everybody's scurrying around like ants in there." 

Another 5 to 10 inches of snow are expected to accumulate Saturday evening, according to a winter storm warning from the National Weather Service. Extreme temperatures are also expected early next week, with windchills at -45 degrees Sunday.

It wasn't just the Wicker Park store that was drawing hordes of worried shoppers. People reported long lines at city Mariano's locations, and tweeted photos of empty shelves at Jewel stores.

"I live across the street from a Jewel and can clearly see in the store from my window. It looks Y2K crazy in there. This is not a drill," tweeted The NotoriousLex in Uptown.

"I've been to three stores. Empty shelves everywhere! No Dominick's = very busy Jewel," said Rsutter34 on Twitter.