Last-minute shoppers encounter long lines and crowded parking lots ahead of holiday blizzard

SOUTH BEND, Ind.-- The next couple of days are expected to be a double whammy for holiday shoppers as they rush to check off the last few items on their Christmas lists and load up on the essentials before the dangerous blizzard conditions set in, making travel next to impossible over the holiday weekend.

Community members are now encouraging everyone who hasn't already hit the stores to do so, and then hunker down before things get too dangerous!

Stores all across Michiana have been nothing short of chaos. While it's typical for stores to see a surge the day or two before Christmas, the incoming blizzard brought shoppers swarming the stores Wednesday.

"Just [buying] some last-minute food items, getting stuff for Christmas dinner, because I know it's going to be a lot of snow the next couple days," said shopper Melissa Criglear.

"I'm getting last minute things, like creamer and a gallon of milk," said another shopper, Mary Ann Cooreman. "So that way, we have extra."

At the Kroger grocery store on East Ireland in South Bend, shopping carts became nearly impossible to find. That location, like so many others, is very understaffed, making it very stressful for workers and shoppers.

Employees were consistently restocking shelves with the essentials and filling pickup orders as quickly as they could.

But the biggest hassle for shoppers were the lines. One shopper, Connie Plum Nelson, said she waited 30 minutes to buy her groceries with her husband.

"Those lines were out the door, basically. This is a tough day, but we got through it," Nelson said.

If you still haven't stocked up on your last-minute essentials, you have one more chance Thursday morning before it's time to hunker down for in the incoming blizzard.

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