Many hoping for the first snow day in years at Hampton Roads schools; shoppers stocking up

Posted at 10:59 PM, Jan 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-19 23:16:28-05

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. – With snow in the forecast, several school divisions have already announced schedule changes for Thursday.

Portsmouth has canceled all afternoon sports and activities.

Hampton schools are releasing kids two hours early.

Schools in Williamsburg-James City County, Accomack, York County and Newport News will also have early dismissals Thursday.

Other school districts in Hampton Roads aren’t ready to call a snow day, but dozens of people are preparing to hunker down and packing grocery stores to stock up.

David Krause of Norfolk bought milk, juice, crackers and more.

“A lot of these shelves in a lot of areas are empty, probably due to 'snow-mageddon' that’s coming along,” said Krause.

Doug Churchill, who works at a Food Lion in Norfolk, said he’s shocked to see how packed the store was.

“In the year that I’ve worked here, I’ve never seen this amount of people in this store all at once and coming out and being, I guess, afraid of the snow or something, just getting tons and tons of food,” Churchill said.

Darnell Armstrong is an Instacart driver. He said he’s been busy all day buying groceries for people.

“I’ve been here all day,” he said. “I’ve been in and out all day Instacarting, and I think there’s a lot of panic going on.”

Several meat, bread and produce shelves were empty at the Harris Teeter on Colonial Avenue in Norfolk.

“No beef; no chicken; no poultry,” said Robin Neumeister of Norfolk.

Related: Families grocery shopping in Yorktown gear up for winter storm ahead

The line to check out wrapped down the grocery store’s aisle. One woman took a cellphone video comparing it to a sort of doomsday situation.

“Hello; Welcome to Armageddon,” Elena Montello said.

School districts across Hampton Roads are keeping an eye on the weather, weighing the decision to close.

School teacher and dad to three-year-old Zellia, Dave Longfellow said he’s ready if her preschool and his district call a snow day.

“It’d be nice to just give them a couple snow days,” said Longfellow. “Let them play in the snow, if it actually snows, instead of being behind a computer. That’s just me.”

But Robin Neumeister is mentally preparing her 12-year-old granddaughter for the possibility of learning remotely.

“Snow days are over because now they just flip them to virtual,” Neumeister said. “As I was telling her, that’s a bummer because you’ll never have a snow day again.”

While some people are planning for the worst, others have doubts they’ll see any of the white stuff.

“I’ll believe it when I see it,” said Darnell Armstrong. “I’ve been here since ’94 and I never seen a lot of snow except for maybe in 2018.”

Administrators with Chesapeake Public Schools are meeting Thursday afternoon to talk about its plan for snow and canceling classes.

Closings | Interactive Radar | Latest Forecast | Warnings