The snow and ice put a freeze on business downtown, but the storm was a boon for local tire dealers who saw their traffic spike over the weekend. Few customers braved the rough elements Tuesday and ventured downtown, and many businesses failed to open or closed early. On Commercial Street alone, Let It Rain, an outdoor clothing company, Deals Only, Low Carb Heaven, The Silver Salmon and the Paramount Drug Co. were closed.

And business slowed at the Safeway supermarket on Duane Street where Julie Jimbinez was shopping with her kids.

"We're stocking up," said Jimbinez, who was also shopping for a friend. "We live in Knappa, and we don't know when we're going to get out again."

In her neighborhood, near the top of Brownsmead Hill, it has been snowing since Friday, she said. She was shopping for milk, bread and other staples, plus hot chocolate and marshmallows.

"It's like camping," Jimbinez said. "You never know when the power is going to go out."

Although icy conditions kept many customers away Tuesday, business at the McCall Tire Center in Warrenton and Del's O.K. Tire Factory in Astoria was brisk over the weekend.

"The prior three days things have just been going nuts," said John McCall, co-owner of McCall Tire Center.

Customers have come to the stores requesting snow-tire installation, new studded snow-tires and snow chains. Volume was so high that McCall recorded his largest single-day sales Saturday.

"It's nice to get this after the first of the year," said McCall. "Usually after the holidays, things are really slow for us."

Tire chains were the biggest seller, but chains for most common-sized tires were sold-old at both stores Tuesday.

"Everybody wants chains, but nobody has any in the warehouses, they're out," said Dave Johnson, owner of Astoria Automotive Supply on Commercial Street, which was also sold-out Tuesday. Recent storms across the state have depleted regional supplies, he said.

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