Yes, we have no bananas |

Yes, we have no bananas

SUMMIT COUNTY – Truckers forced to keep their engines idling waiting for the interstate to open Thursday weren’t the only ones worried about their fuel levels.

The heavy snow that blanketed the Front Range and Summit County this week has prevented delivery trucks of all kinds – food, car parts and fuel among them – from their appointed rounds. And the pickings are getting slim at area restaurants, gas stations and stores.

“We’re getting real low,” said Heidi Foote, who works at the Frisco Diamond Shamrock, where scores of stranded vehicles lined Summit Boulevard Thursday morning. “The alarm’s going off right now. At the rate we’re going, we probably have three hours of unleaded left.”

At 9 a.m., Foote said there was a combined total of 1,928 gallons of regular and mid-grade unleaded gas in the station’s tanks and 3,078 gallons of diesel fuel.

The Frisco Loaf ‘n’ Jug was out of unleaded and had only enough mid-grade and premium gas to last into the evening, said employee Lisa Lynn.

“Loaf “n’ Jug has a new emergency plan now,” she said. “They’re going to give us an extra delivery every time they’re predicting six inches of snow or more.”

The convenience store also is out of bread, dog food and some microwave meals. And drivers at the Loaf ‘n’ Jug in Breckenridge waited in line almost an hour to get gasoline.

“Yeah, but we’re the only game in town (that still has unleaded) – and we’re running on premium right now,” said assistant manager Kerry Rowe, adding that she sold more than $1,000 in gasoline in 15 minutes Thursday afternoon. “They’re all here. It’s crazy – absolutely insane. The good news is that our gas company called three hours ago and said they’re on their way.”

John Ditchen, shift manager at the Breckenridge 7-Eleven, answered the phone by saying, “Thank you for calling 7-Eleven, and yes, we do have gas.” He said the atmosphere at the store was crazy, even though the only gas it has is premium.

According to Holly Watters of Ron’s Texaco in Frisco, there are no hoses, belts or tire chains available for sale in the county.

“People are stuck here until parts come in,” she said. “CarQuest, Napa, Wal-Mart – if they don’t have it, people can’t go anywhere.”

Watters said the service station adjacent to the Holiday Inn has been extremely busy this week selling gas and maps and repairing cars.

“A lot of people just don’t have any idea where they are,” she said. “They have no clue they can take Highway 285 to get out of here. It’s sad. I think people aren’t telling them so they’ll have to hang out and spend money.”

Getting to Highway 285, however, proved difficult after a semi jackknifed and closed the route over Hoosier Pass Thursday afternoon.

Although the shelves at Safeway have some bare spots, the store still has plenty of items from which to choose, despite the fact the store has missed two of its regular daily deliveries, said manager Kathy Allard.

“Starbucks has tripled,” she said with a laugh. “People are wrapped around produce 24-7. Everyone wants a cup of coffee.”

Others are going for beverages that pack a little more punch than coffee.

“Our liquor supply’s not doing so good,” said Kristy Suslberger, manager of Old Chicago in Silverthorne. “But we’re good to go (on food). We knew the storm was coming, and we’re hoping our trucks are coming up tomorrow (Friday) with all the stuff we need.”

“We’re definitely waiting for trucks,” said Ken Heck, manager of the Dillon City Market. “We’re doing OK, but if we don’t get stuff today, we’ll be in trouble.”

The store is, however, out of eggs, bananas and bagged salad, and other items are in short supply.

“Bananas and eggs are our big things,” Heck said. “Everything else you can do without for a couple of days.”

And, as Frank Accosta of Breckenridge learned, the store is out of albuterol, a drug he needs to control his asthma. Accosta found the medication elsewhere and is berating himself for not thinking to fill the prescription before the storm hit.

“They told me they were trying to get the trucks up 285 and something happened,” he said. “We take everything for granted because life is just so good up here. We never think that stuff has to come from somewhere else.”

His search forced him to drive around Breckenridge, which was packed with vehicles trying to get over Hoosier Pass.

“This place is nuts,” Accosta said. “People have lost all rationale. And now it’s snowing again.”

Tuesday evening, Colorado Department of Transportation officials closed Interstate 70 from Silverthorne to the Morrison exit near Denver. As of Thursday evening, the highway remained closed from Frisco to Evergreen, although officials opened the interstate late Thursday afternoon for two hours, and pilot cars lead a slow, steady line of vehicles east to Denver.

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