Busy times ahead for some businesses

A motorist vacuums their car Wednesday. The real crush for car washes is expected to come Friday and Saturday as temperatures warm up across the region.
By: 
DONNA SUMMERALL and STEVE ROGERS
Daily Times Leader

Some are happy they haven't been busy. Others were glad the lack of calls was a sign people had been playing it safe. And others are looking forward to the rush that is likely to come.

A day of snow and ice followed by two days of bitter cold temperatures across the Golden Triangle and North Mississippi brought surprisingly few calls to law enforcement and even wrecker drivers.

"It was pretty quiet for us. We didn't have much traffic out at all. I think most people stayed inside," Clay County Sheriff Eddie Scott said Wednesday afternoon.

"We haven't gotten any calls, haven't really been busy at all. We haven't even had calls about little dents or anything. It's good that nobody's gotten hurt," said Holli Wilkerson at Guest Body Shop which operates one of Clay County's busiest wrecker services.

The region still had sub-freezing temperatures Wednesday night, meaning a chance for problems as icy roads remained in a few spots, especially on bridges and in rural areas.

But forecasts call for warming temperatures today through the weekend.

That opens up all kinds of possibilities, both for law enforcement and some other businesses.

"Things will start breaking lose Thursday when it starts warming up. I'd say we'll be wide open by this weekend. People will have been cooped up for a couple of days. They'll be ready to get out and get going," Scott said.

"I just hope they are safe and careful," the sheriff added.

The thaw potentially means big business for some, including car washes, as car owners want to get the grit, grime and remnants of snow off their vehicles.

And those businesses are getting ready.

"We are making sure all of our hoses, pipes and fittings are in good working order," said Jeremy Jantz, the owner of Mr. Bubbles car wash on Highway 45 Alternate South. "We had a lot of people in last weekend to clean their cars and we anticipate even more after the ice and snow melts."

Jantz said staffing up to handle the extra load.

"We want to remind people that even though the ice is melting, they still need to be cautious," Jantz said. "There will still be patches of ice in the shade where the sun can't reach. Be very careful walking across parking lots. It's going to be slippery for a while."

"I've already got two cars booked for Thursday morning and that'll be just the start," added Brandon Robertson, who runs George's Clean Touch car wash on Highway 45 Alternate North.

"We've been letting the weather break and get some of that icy stuff off the ground. When it gets warmer, people will want their cars clean," Robertson said. "We'll be busy."

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