Shovels, salt and snow rakes fly off the shelves at ACE Hardware

Ace Harware employee Corey Russell sets up a row of shovels in preparation for shoppers on Thursday night.

Alley Alley and father, Bob Alley get prepped for the storm at ACE Hardware in Barrington on Thursday afternoon.

Alley Alley and father, Bob Alley get prepped for the storm at ACE Hardware in Barrington on Thursday afternoon.

Bob Alley isn’t afraid of the snow heading this way on Friday.

Neither is his daughter Cassie… So long as the electricity works.

The Barrington natives were two of numerous customers walking the aisles at ACE Hardware Thursday afternoon, about 24 hours before a nor’easter named Nemo was expected to drop upwards of one foot of snow on Rhode Island with blizzard conditions into Saturday.

Mr. Alley picked up a shovel and some salt at the store, neither of which were for him. Both were for his daughter, to make sure she’s ready to battle the coming winter weather. Mr. Alley said he wasn’t too worried about the storm though Ms. Alley was a bit more apprehensive.

“As long as the power stays on,” said Ms. Alley when asked if she was ready for snow.

ACE Hardware owner George Tamer – a former firefighter and civil defense director in Massachusetts – has witnessed Thursday’s scene plenty of times since opening seven years ago, especially in recent years. Tropical Storm Irene and Hurricane Sandy both had local resident scrambling for flashlights, batteries and other essentials in 2011 and 2012, respectively.

Mr. Tamer said one lingering effect of these storms has been on the sale of generators. Though not typically a hot item for a pending snow storm, Mr. Tamer said sales are up with plenty of people hoping to stay out of the dark.

Snow rakes have also become a popular staple along with traditional items such as scrapers and extension cords. The tools are used to drag snow off a home’s roof, easing the weight off of potentially frozen gutters.

Mr. Tamer said business started to pick-up Thursday morning and he expected a busy evening rush. While pallets of salt were dwindling in the early afternoon hours, the store’s weekly delivery is scheduled for Friday. It comes that day every week but with the timing of this weekend’s storm, is a good coincidence.

Mr. Tamer said his store will be open through the storm for those in need of last minute supplies. ACE Hardware’s employees live close by, Mr. Tamer said, and the store is there for its neighbors.

Said Mr. Tamer: “People rely on their local hardware stores.”



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