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      Ottumwans prep for winter storm

      Ottumwans were faced with the task of balancing the shopping needs for both a storm and a holiday on the first day of Winter.

      With a winter storm on the horizon and Christmas only four days away, Ottumwans packed stores in the city grabbing essential items for both.

      Kelly Smith, sales clerk at O'Hara Hardware, said her store was busy all day with customers stocking up on items to gear up for the storm.

      "We have lots of snow blowers, ice melt, shovels, Yaktrax, and de-icer," said Smith. "Just about anything that you would need to gear up for the winter weather."

      Over at Hy-Vee South, the store director Max Dains said his store saw an uptick in business this Saturday but that it was mainly because of the holiday season.

      He said customers were purchasing the usual bread, milk, and eggs in preparation of a winter storm, but that many were also buying items for Christmas they might not be able to secure after the storm hits.

      "This is a busy time anyway and everybody's in here getting all their baking supplies and everything else," said Dains. "But with the pressure that they might not be able to get in here tomorrow, they're probably stocking up a little more today than normal."

      He also said his top selling item of the day was surprisingly not a food item.

      "The one big thing that really is different than a normal day would be that we probably sold two pallets worth of driveway salt," said Dains.