Last minute shoppers hit the road during icy conditions

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Transportation officials had urged people to delay their last-minute saturday christmas shopping, until crews could get a handle on the icy roads.

Whether shoppers complied, or just pressed on, it’s true there are a lot of gift-buying stragglers.

Christmas present procrastinators were rewarded with freezing rain and ice on Saturday, but they didn’t let the wet weather put a damper on their holiday shopping spirit.

“A lot of ice, yeah it’s, you have to be careful walking, and even starting your car a little earlier because it’s all glazed over and just driving carefully,” says joyce Kutty from North Providence.

But the winter weather didn’t stop shoppers from hitting the stores for those last minute holiday gifts.

“The roads were okay for the most part but getting the ice off my car was a little annoying but other than that we were uh it was pretty easy, we were lucky it’s close by,” adds Mollie Webster from Providence.

Store manager Emily Brownell, from Henry Bear;s Park, says while slick roads may scare away drivers headed to big retailers, it can have the opposte effect on local stores.

“We’ve had a lot of phone calls already this morning, people know we’re open and I think personally that people want to stay closer to home when the roads aren’t looking nice.”

And if you still have some holiday shopping to get done, don’t forget to take advantage of the free two-hour parking in Providence’s commercial districts and at the Providence place mall.