One day after Punxsutawney Phil the groundhog predicted an early spring, people from West Virginia to New York stocked up Friday against the threat of snow.
“It’s unbelievable the way people panic. It’s like they think they’re never going to get out of their house again,” said Rick Hahn, a supermarket cashier in Philadelphia.
Milk, bread, baby food and formula were the top sellers.
“It’s going to be a long, long night,” he said.
Up to 16 inches of snow was forecast in parts of Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Winter storm and heavy snow warnings were in effect through todayfrom the Ohio Valley to the central Appalachians and the mid-Atlantic region, the National Weather Service said.
Several inches had already fallen in the Midwest on Friday as the storm strengthened.
Snow has been scarce in the Northeast this year, a sharp change from last winter’s almost weekly storms.