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Despite ice, some businesses open on Tuesday

Posted February 17, 2015

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— Many businesses decided the ice was not worth the risk and were closed Tuesday, but some braved the slippery roads and tried to get the word out that they were open.

The Triangle’s major malls opened two hours late, including Crabtree Valley Mall, where most stores were open but short-staffed.

Whitney Beals, manager of the mall’s Verizon store, gave her employees the option of coming in.

“I just told them, don’t come in if you don’t think it’s safe,” said Beals, who added that her employees were relieved to have that option.

Jamie Lemasters, manager at Yogen Fruz, was surprised her store was open.

“The back roads were pretty bad, but once I got on Capital (Boulevard) and (Interstate) 440, things were OK,” she said. “Turning into the mall was a jumble, but then it was alright.”

She said she was “a little shocked” that her store opened Tuesday. “I’m not going to lie, a little shocked.”

Despite warnings from officials to stay off the roads, some shoppers made their way to the malls.

“Nothing better to do, sit at home,” said Damaris Kennedy. “Already did the cooking and cleaning. Wanted to enjoy the weather a little bit.”

Tonya Falco also thought Tuesday was a good day to shop.

“I’m sure a lot of people are bored in their houses and they want to come out and do something,” she said.

It was a similar situation in Durham, where the downtown scene was much more quiet than usual. The businesses that did open spent the morning removing ice sidewalks and walkways

While businesses focused on sidewalks, the City of Durham took care of roads and bridges.  The city's public works department sent out plows and salt trucks.  

Some nonprofits, including Urban Ministries of Durham, were also open to provide assistance to those in need. Urban Ministries averages about 250 people for dinner.

"Some of our volunteers who were coming, who were able to travel in the snow, will bring an extra friend," said volunteer Patricia Nelson. "It's great, to me, to see that there are so many people who are dedicated to making sure the service continues."

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  • Kayla Moncol Feb 18, 2015
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    The all mighty dollar is apparently worth the risk of employees lives!