Fort Mill Bi-Lo managers camp out in store to ensure opening during the storm

mharrison@fortmilltimes.comFebruary 17, 2014 

  • Cancellations

    •  Daddy-Daughter Dance at the Dairy Barn has been rescheduled for Thursday.

    •  Second Harvest Mobile Food Pantry delivery for Fort Mill has been rescheduled for Friday.

— Talk about a long shift at work.

Roger Collins, the grocery manager at the Bi-Lo supermarket near downtown Fort Mill and his boss, store manager Matt Bolin, spent a night in the store last week to make sure they could open the next day.

“We spent the night to make sure the power didn’t go out and opened at 6 (a.m.) on the dot,” Collins said Thursday, as snow from winter storm continued to fall.

Eventually, close to 8 inches of snow fell during Feb. 12-13.

The two, both Rock Hill residents, oversaw late deliveries and tended to other chores after the storm moved in Wednesday and dumped several inches of snow on the area. By Thursday morning, with temperatures in the mid 20s, local roads were covered with a layer of ice. A freezing rain in early morning turned to snow, causing many businesses in the area that were closed or closed early Feb. 12 to remain closed.

A total of four employees ran the entire store, Bolin said, including an assistant bookkeeper. They all pitched in for everything that needed to be done, including bagging. Bolin said the store had ample supplies of everything except bread.

After getting only a couple of hours sleep on the floor in sleeping bags, he and Collins seemed in remarkable spirits the next day.

“I’m just tired,” Bolin laughed. “I’ve pulled a long shift before, but I’ve never slept in a store.”

Collins said it’s all in a day’s work.

“We just wanted to make sure we were here for our customers,” he said.

Michael Harrison •  803-547-2353

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