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Out of the storm and ready for the Super Bowl, grocery stores are good to go

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The weather hasn’t stopped local supermarkets from getting their shelves stocked for the upcoming weekend. Despite a ban on tractor trailers, places like Wegmans and Tops found ways to ensure they would have plenty of supplies for Super Bowl Weekend.

“The preparations really start first thing Friday morning. So we’re ready for our customers once they start making their way back in to the stores,” said Wegmans Buffalo Consumer Affairs Manager Michele Mehaffy.

Mehaffy is confident shelves will be stocked and said anytime a storm hits they pre-plan to make sure everything is in place once people are able to leave their homes.

“Because it’s game day weekend, a lot of times the stores really start ramping up on Saturday. As people start picking up the things that they want to serve for their Super Bowl parties. Whether it’s chips and guacamole, cheese trays, veggie trays, what not,” she said. “That really starts Saturday morning, but Friday morning our stores are going to be ready to go.”

And Wegmans wasn’t the only grocery store making sure operations stayed don schedule.

“A lot of people look to their local grocery stores like Tops as a place of refuge,” Tops Public and Media Relations Manager Kathy Sautter said. “We’re certainly happy they turn to Tops for that. We open those doors for people to come in, have a cup of coffee, and kind of get out of the storm. So we were happy that people did come through our doors and kind of get out of the cold for a little bit.”

Sautter said even if the bad weather creeps in to the weekend, they’ll use members of their corporate office to fill in for employees who may not be able to make it in to work.

“We use our staff here in our corporate office and our executive team actually is on board these next couple of days making sure it’s all hands on deck. Helping to make sure those food deliveries get to all of our stores to make sure our shelves are stocked for everyone in the community,” Sautter said.

For Wegmans, Mehaffy said the storm was just a slight alteration in their plans.

“We have a business continuation team. And they monitor weather far in advance as well as road conditions DOT advisories and what not. We adjust orders and routes as necessary. At the first sign of a snow storm we monitor those deliveries to our stores,” said Mehaffy.

Tops rented smaller vehicles to make sure everything got to stores in a timely manner.

“We always have a crisis plan of action in place if you will. Our tractor trailers were able to get to our stores and we implemented some additional trucks out on the roadway as well. Smaller box trucks if you will, to be able get those deliveries to the stores,” Sautter said.

And with rising temperatures expected this weekend, it is expected customers will be back in stores soon.

“Our employees have been doing a great job,” said Mehaffy. “Even with the skeleton crews that we’ve had in the stores, making sure that we have products available for our customers when they need it most.”

Nick Lippa leads our Arts & Culture Coverage, and is also the lead reporter for the station's Mental Health Initiative, profiling the struggles and triumphs of those who battle mental health issues and the related stigma that can come from it.