Walking around grocery stores like Seattle’s Leschi Market on Monday, evidence of the mountain pass and freeway closures could be seen in the gaps among milk, juice, and cereal on the shelves.
Wet weather, potholes in Washington make grocery deliveries challenging
The past weekend saw Western Washington turned into an island, as Snoqualmie, Stevens, White, and Blewett Passes closed due to avalanche danger and high snowfall (with the North Cascades Highway already closed for the season). Twenty miles of I-5 in Lewis County closed on Friday as well due to flooding.
“As an independent retailer, a lot of our main wholesalers are located in the greater Portland/greater Vancouver area, and even some things coming out of California, so that can create a real stalemate to get product here,” said Paul Wilcox, co-owner and manager of Leschi Market.
Three shipments were late this past week because of weather and closures. That left Leschi Market with about 90% of their usual stock to start the week. Wilcox would like to normally be at 100%, but he still feels lucky compared to what has happened to some of the larger grocery stores; because Leschi buys from many small, local, mom-and-pop suppliers, those wholesalers were able to come make deliveries in their cars, with no need for a semi truck to cross a mountain pass.
Still, Wilcox said, a delivery that is late by even a day can have repercussions.
“Delivery times are dramatically impacted with adverse weather,” Wilcox said. “If we’re expecting a delivery on Saturday and it doesn’t

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