Winter storm impacts shipments to North Dakota grocery stores

Published: Dec. 31, 2019 at 6:39 PM CST
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Winter storms hit the eastern side of North Dakota last week caused massive shutdowns of freeways and roads.

This led to massive delays in shipments of food and other necessities across the state.

Rural areas are finding it hard to keep their shelves stocked this week. This past weekend's winter storm shut down state highways, causing delays for food shipments from warehouses in Bismarck and Fargo.

Shipment delays could mean serious trouble for rural areas like Velva where smaller, mom and pop shops may be the only grocery option in town.

Velva grocery store owner Shawn Vedaa owns the only grocery store in the area. He says delays are making it difficult to keep items in stock, particularly for perishable foods.

“A lot of the problems we run into with a smaller grocery store is, those dated products for instance like Miracle Whip, we don't carry a lot of it on hand so we wait a lot of times until we're down to one product. And in cases like this when we have this storm to the east of us, we could end up with product that we just don't have on the shelves,” Vedaa said.

Many areas in the state are one grocery store away from becoming a food desert. With a few highways reopening and travel advisories being lifted, shipments are slowly expected to get back on track.

However, some stores in far-out areas that have seen delays could have to wait between one to two weeks for certain items to be available again.

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