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Grocery stores in the Colorado Springs area prepared for hordes of customers stocking up on essentials Thursday with an incoming snowstorm expected to hit Friday.

Forecasters are predicting up to two feet of snow near Monument and possibly a rain and snow mix in Colorado Springs. 

Major Winter Storm will affect the Pikes Peak region this weekend. #cowx

— NWS Pueblo (@NWSPueblo)

“It’s already picked up a little bit and I anticipate Thursday and Friday being fairly busy,” Julie Sasinka, owner of Mountain Mama Natural Foods in Colorado Springs said. “I definitely think people will be loading up.” 

The Safeway at Circle Drive and Galley Road in Colorado Springs was busy – and some items out of stock – Thursday afternoon, March 11, 2021.

Cars packed the lot at the Monument King Soopers grocery store as residents jammed carts and lined up through the aisles for check-out registers.

Milk shelves at the store were bare before 1 p.m. Thursday and employees rolled out carts to restock bread, meat and cereal.

Some closures around the county were already announced Thursday, including community vaccination clinics and COVID-19 testing centers.

UCHealth planned to close its 11 coronavirus vaccine clinics Saturday and Sunday, rescheduling patients. Patients do not need to change their appointments themselves, the hospital system said. UCHealth is also closing its COVID-19 testing locations Saturday and Sunday.  

Updated storm total snow map! 15-25″ expected across urban corridor with up to 30″ in Boulder and Fort Collins. 2 to 4 feet of snow in the foothills. Lower amounts west of Continental Divide and east of DIA. #COwx

— NWS Boulder (@NWSBoulder)

The second dose of the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines can be provided up to six weeks after the first dose, so patients shouldn’t be impacted, UCHealth said.

El Paso County’s Fountain, northern Colorado Springs and the Citadel Mall coronavirus testing sites will be closed Saturday and Sunday. Officials expected them to reopen at 8 a.m. Monday.

The complex storm is highly volatile, complex and difficult to track, but it is not expected to bring the same intense winds and conditions as the bomb cyclone the region saw two years ago in March, said Greg Heavener, with the National Weather Service in Pueblo. Still, residents should be prepared for a high impact storm that could make travel difficult, he said during a news conference Thursday. Read more here.

This content was originally published here.