Jefferson businesses, county offices close for storm

PORT TOWNSEND — The business district in downtown Port Townsend was all but abandoned this afternoon, with shops closing early due to the storm.

City and Jefferson County administrative offices were closed at 2 p.m. and the Port Townsend Public Library and city pool will be closed through the weekend.

Keppie Keplinger with Jefferson County Emergency Management said officals are monitoring the situation as well as ham radio traffic and if needed, will activate the emergency operations center.

QFC Store Manager Laura Hulsey said Port Townsend residents began stocking up supplies early.

“Thursday was our busiest all time record day,” Halsey said.

The store has been in Port Townsend for 40 years.

“After yesterday, we didn’t have a lot of time to restock and people were coming in very early [today]. We got some stock in overnight, and had a late truck for produce and refrigerated stuff today.

“And, yes, we have bananas and we are proud of that,” she quipped.

“We got our milk in today, and we are trying to get it out as fast as we can. All day long everyone I have is at a check stands plus we had inventory this morning.”

Hulsey said the store will close at 11 tonight and re-open at 7 a.m. Saturday. “There are a few of the perimeter departments that will be closing early,” she said.

She noted that a lot of her staff would be staying overnight at the Manresa Castle across the street so they don’t have to worry about getting home.

Henery Hardware manager Nick Walston said the store would stay open until 8 tonight and re-open at 8 a.m. Saturday.

“This morning was crazy,” Walston said. “The last three-to-four days have been really busy.”

He said customers have been buying salt, sand and shovels to the point that the store can’t keep them in stock.

“No one else had salt,” Walston said.”We got two pallets in this morning and within three hours it was gone.”

He said space heaters, kerosene — anything for cold weather — has been selling. He’s seen a bump in cold-weather Carhartt clothing sales, as well.

He said to be ready if the area gets really cold temperatures.

“Make sure your plumbing doesn’t freeze. We have insulation and heated tape to help.”

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Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Jeannie McMacken can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at [email protected]

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