By Reg Chapman

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — With blizzard conditions projected for much of Minnesota, many ran out ahead of the storm, packing stores in search of supplies needed to sit out the snow, or to make some last-minute purchases for the holidays.

Parking lots at many grocery and department stores were packed as people rushed to beat the crowds before the snow began to fall.

“It’s a rush, you know … it’s a busy time, but it’s a good time because we are celebrating something really special,” Janet said.

Janet spent most of her morning shopping for items needed to compliment her most precious Christmas gift.

“My husband got me a puppy for Christmas so I had to go get a puppy bed, some Puppy Chow and all that stuff too,” she said.

She also needed to make sure her family had enough food on hand to make Christmas dinner and all the snacks before and after.

“It’s busy and finding items, it took me a little bit of time,” Janet said.

Crowded stores and the rush on favorite items will force her to continue her shopping.

“They actually didn’t have a few items so I’m going to have to go somewhere else to get a couple of more items,” she said.

She said she is comforted in knowing she is not alone in the mad rush for food and presents before the white Christmas she has been hoping for was upon us.

It wasn’t the rain that made people move quickly as they walked into area big box stores; it was what’s expected behind the rain that made them move with purpose.

“I got to get some more Christmas stuff yet still so I’m still doing a little Christmas shooing,” Darlene said.

She says she got up early to finish buying gifts for loved ones before the snow made it hard for her to travel.

“I don’t want to have to drive anywhere I don’t have to,” she said.

She was not alone.

“Worries about snow and food,” another shopper told WCCO.

Parking lots were packed as people rushed to get enough food to get them through the holiday.

“Get it done and get it over with,” said another shopper.

Liquor stores, like the recently reopened Chicago Lake Liquor, also saw a steady stream of customers. They are also catering to those doing a quick curbside pickup or call in for delivery.

“It’s the new thing at Chicago Lake. It’s busier than heck,” an employee said.

Not only are people rushing to stores, they are also pulling up to the pumps to fill up their tanks before the big storm arrives.

“Just make sure I had enough of everything,” Darlene said.

Most people out and about said they would battle the elements to get what they need. Many shoppers told WCCO they will continue to shop until temperatures drop and travel is not safe.

Reg Chapman