SOUTH PORTLAND — While the streets were mostly deserted in South Portland, a few hardy souls ventured out Thursday morning before the winds picked up in the afternoon.

At Hinckley Park, Keith Stinson of South Portland and his children, Devin, 9, and Jordyn, 7, went ice fishing on the pond, hoping to land a trout or two. Unfortunately, the fish were eating the minnow bait and slipping the lines.

Stinson said he had the day off work and it wasn’t bitter cold, so they realized the morning would be a good time for ice fishing with the temperatures around 20 degrees.

Gina McHugh of Scarborough walked her mixed-breed dog Rooney in the park, and she said the trees helped shelter them from the winds.

“It’s not too bad yet, and I had to walk the dog, anyway,” McHugh said.

On Portland’s Munjoy Hill, a handful of businesses opened Thursday morning. The line at the register at Hilltop Superette rotated with people buying milk and ice cream. Employee Tony Rogers said customers also came in to buy bottled water.

“People are afraid of their pipes freezing,” Rogers said.

Dillon Richardson, 25, walked from his apartment on Cumberland Avenue to the superette on Congress Street expecting to find empty shelves. But he said he was pleasantly surprised to find all the breakfast supplies he needed – and a few extras.

“Oh, Oreos, perfect,” Richardson said, grabbing a package of cookies.

Richardson said the software company where he works closed for the day. He planned to spend the afternoon watching a movie marathon with his girlfriend.

“It’s like the warmest it’s been in weeks,” he said. “It’s totally nice out.”

Guy and Stella Hernandez bundled up and walked to their Congress Street businesses – Hilltop Coffee and the restaurant Lolita. Stella Hernandez said families who are home from work and school will walk to the coffee shop for hot cocoa on snow days.

“When it gets really bad – I don’t know, like now – is when you start thinking, you know, it might be a snow day for everybody,” Guy Hernandez said.

Contact Joe Lawlor at 791-6376 or at:

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