Snow shovels, snow sleds and snow tires were in short supply in the Washington area yesterday as the first sunny day in almost a week brought much of the city and suburbs outdoors.
Hardware stores reported that their stock of snow shovels was depleted by two recent snow storms that dropped over eight inches of snow on the metropolitan area.
"We haven't had a snow shovel for two or three days now," said Reg Herndon, of Campbell's Hardware Store on Cood Hope Road in Anacostia. "In fact we've got no coal scoops left, just some square point construction shovels."
Herndon said the store was also out of sleds.
"Some lady came in just this morning and bought the last one," he said. "It's hard to keep enough in when it snows . . . especially since Flexible Flyer (a snow sled company) went out of business."
Yesterday's sunny skies also brought out shoppers, skaters and sledders. A spokesman for Woodward & Lothrop's downtown store said he was "surprised so many people came in today."
The sun took yesterday's temperatures to a high of 36 degrees and it never got colder than 32 degrees. Jack Fuge, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said the sun's warmth would have pushed the temperature higher if it hadn't been for the snow on the ground.
"The snow melting kept temperatures from going up," Fuge said. "It takes a lot of heat out of the air."
The sunshine is expected to remain in the area today. Daytime temperatures today and Monday are expected to be in the 34-to-38 range, with night lows between 16 and 22, the Weather Service said.
No more precipitation is forecast for the area until at least Tuesday or Wednesday, forecasters said.
The shortage of snow shovels, snow tires, and snow sleds is not expected to ease up before next weekend.
At Fischer's hardware store in Springfield an employee said the store has been sold out of snow shovels and sleds for almost a week.
"We don't expect to get any shovels in here before Tuesday or Wednesday," he said. "I sure hope it doesn't snow before then."
Several other hardware stores said they were sold out of the rock salt used to melt ice on sidewalks.
Snow tires were also in short supply.
"We're getting down to the nub on snowtires," said an employee of Tires of Silver Spring Inc., on Georgia Avenue. "And we had an excellent stock - I can't say just how many - going into the season."