Storm sets off frantic shopping rush

2012-10-28 21:34
No water is left on a supermarket shelf as people prepare for Hurricane Sandy in Westport, Connecticut. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images/AFP)

No water is left on a supermarket shelf as people prepare for Hurricane Sandy in Westport, Connecticut. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images/AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Philadelphia - Good luck buying lanterns, generators, propane, or - if you're really unprepared - rain boots and batteries in areas in the path of Hurricane Sandy as it bears down on the US East Coast.

The approach of the gigantic storm - expected to come ashore on Monday night - set off a scramble this weekend for supplies from Virginia to New England, causing long lines at petrol stations, bare shelves at hardware and home-supply shops, and a run on bread, bottled water and canned foods at grocery stores.

Big population centers including New York, Philadelphia, Washington, Baltimore and Boston were in the hurricane's path.

Petrol pumps along the Berlin Turnpike in Newington, Connecticut, were covered with plastic bags.

"It's been crazy. We're the only one open who still has petrol," said Karen Tripodi a customer service representative at Cumberland Farms in Newington. "They're coming in for propane, ice, water, milk and cigarettes."

At a Lowe's store in Bowie, Maryland, the hot-selling items included generators, batteries, sandbags, sand, water, emergency radios, tarps, dry ice, lanterns, plywood, gas cans, propane, rain boots and rain suits.

Manager Eric Williams said, "It seems to be a very busy day, but controlled."

At Cosey Beach, Connecticut, which was under an evacuation order, homeowners scrambled to pack and board up windows.

Power outages

"I can't imagine what kind of damage this will do," said Melissa Stone as she helped her father prepare to leave his home. "It makes me sick, I can't even think about it."

Forecasters described the "super storm" as a rare hybrid created by an Arctic jet stream wrapping itself around a tropical storm, possibly dumping up to 300mm of rain in some areas, as well as heavy snowfall inland.

On its current projected track, Sandy is most likely to make landfall between in the New York/New Jersey area and head inland toward Philadelphia, forecasters said. Many of the 50 million people in the storm's path seemed to be paying attention and attempting to prepare.

Authorities expected widespread power outages, and many residents wanted generators to keep their homes with power in the event downed power lines leave their neighborhoods without electricity. Flashlights and batteries also were in demand.

The storm was expected to play havoc with road, rail and air transportation. New York City's subway, bus and train service will be suspended on Sunday evening. Only once before have transportation officials taken such a step, when Hurricane Irene slammed the city in 2011.

John Fallon, store manager at Port Annapolis Marina in Annapolis, Maryland, had a crew of at least eight people working to get boats out of the water, tie them down and remove sales and canvasses. "Today has been absolutely frantic," Fallon said.

Read more on:    us  |  weather  |  us superstorm

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.