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Local businesses become ghost towns

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014 1:15 a.m. CST
(Philip Marruffo/pmarruffo@saukvalley.com)
Cheyenne Lee, 9, of Rock Falls walks back to home after picking up snacks Monday afternoon.

STERLING – Wendy’s in Sterling had plenty of employees on hand Monday morning – but nobody to serve for a while.

Opening at 10 a.m., the restaurant didn’t get its first customer in the drive-thru or the dining room until nearly 25 minutes later.

“Stay warm out there,” an employee told the first customer in the dining room.

Many businesses saw a drop in business Monday.

Even Walmart saw the effects of below-zero weather. It had far fewer customers than usual in the morning, with people having to endure 7-mph bitter cold winds to get into the store.

Most employees showed up, but a few were absent because of the weather.

The store still had salt available, and two snowblowers were displayed at the entrance. 

With the extreme cold, few people were looking to buy clothes, even bulky coats. About 11 a.m., Kohl’s had a grand total of one customer. But employees were throughout the store.

In Rock Falls, no one was at Super Wash at noon. Its automatic wash option was closed “due to inclement weather.”

The same went for Octopus Car Wash in Sterling.

Rock Falls Liquors also was a ghost town.

“When I left for the store at 10 to 10, Dixon Avenue was empty,” said employee Sam Taher. “It’s really slow here. People will probably come after work.”

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