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People across the Tri-Cities prepare for snow storm

(WCYB/Caleb Perhne)

Stores across the region are busy with people getting last-minute supplies before the winter storm. Stores are ready. They’re constantly restocking, especially bread and milk.

"As long as I've been in this business, a lot of years, it's always been milk and bread," store manager Rick Miller said.

The last time a storm of this magnitude hit the region, some roofs collapsed under the weight of heavy snow. It's important to watch for signals.

"Lots of times, you might see problems on the inside,” contractor Jim Street said. “Where it's a house, you might see a new sheetrock crack."

If you get more than a foot of snow, that's when you need to start shoveling.

"Sometimes it's not the initial snow, it could be the melting of the snow and the freezing at night,” Street said. “That ice is much heavier per inch than the snow."

There's one thing you should definitely not do. That's use rock salt to melt the snow off your roof. That can cause even more damage.

Power companies are also ready. Appalachian Power ramped up tree trimming to reduce outages. More than 40 additional crews are on standby from West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana and Michigan.

"This is expected to be a heavier, wet snow, so that causes us a whole lot of issues, similar to an ice storm would,” Andy Shaffron said. “That's when we can expect higher outages.”

They're also getting help from private contractors for the first time since severe thunderstorms in July.

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