Local News

Money and Goods In Short Supply for Many

Posted January 26, 2000 6:00 a.m. EST

— Everyone is looking for something as North Carolina recovers from the unexpected snow. For some, gasoline and groceries are hot commodities. For others who missed work during the snow storm, money is in short supply.

Salaried employees have vacation days and a guaranteed paycheck to fall back on in spite of the storm, but people who work by the hour or on commission are playing catch-up.

The Northern Star restaurant in Raleigh reopened Wednesday, but customers are apparently still snowbound. Even some catering jobs were canceled.

Dusty McCraven made it to work on foot; he needs cash for rent and food. "If I had to miss any more than three days, then that would start affecting me," he says.

Many businesses employ hourly workers who have missed two or three days of work. Schools are still closed, so the parents face a real dilemma. On the one hand, no work means no paycheck. On the other hand, no school means paying extra for day care (if they can find it).

Aruna Frazier missed three days of work this week at the Beauty Quest Spa in Durham. What she makes now pays for child care. Desk manager Susan Johnson brought her kids to work as she counted the spa's pennies and bills, and her own.

People with money to pay the bills face another problem, getting their payments to the right place at the right time. Many people in the Triangle are worried about getting bills and other important mail to its destination.

Many mailboxes are still buried in snow, as are the roads leading to them.

Mail delivery trucks simply cannot get through many neighborhoods, so a lot of people are making the trek to their local post office.

Reginald Branch, a postal worker, chose to walk his route instead of using his vehicle.

"You don't want to slip and hurt yourself so you just try to take your time and do the best what you can," Branch said. Felix DeSantis, Raleigh Area Postmaster, says he is telling his carriers to use their best judgment.

"Where they dee But the trouble does not end there. Postal customer Sarah Viola learned that there could still be delays because the planes are having trouble landing. -->

To help the delivery process, the postal service asks that everyone clear the areas in front of mailboxes so that delivery trucks can reach them.

Banks and credit card companies WRAL talked with say they plan to work with snow-bound customers on a case-by-case basis. Call now if you are concerned about missing a due date. Most supermarkets have been able to keep shelves stocked, though, while business is brisk. Many are operating on shortened schedules, so phone first.