Shoppers Out in Force Ahead of Snow


Don Drust has been working in the supermarket business for years, but the throngs that come in before a big storm still amaze him.

"Most of the rush was last night," he said Friday morning at the ShopRite supermarket he owns in Wallingford. "The last two days have been pretty eventful."

There were still plenty of shoppers in the store hours before the blizzard was expected to hit with greater force. Angely Batista, of Meriden, had a cart full of Gatorade but said she wasn't buying any more than she usually does.

"It's a little too much," she said of shoppers who stockpile milk and eggs. "Those things could go back. I feel all right as long as we have canned foods, blankets and candles."

John Fearon, the store's dairy manager, said he spent his entire shift Thursday restocking juice, eggs and butter. Drust said the store has a plan to prepare for major storms and makes sure there's enough inventory and that deliveries are scheduled ahead of the weather.

With a possibly historic blizzard arriving Friday, shoppers were out in force preparing for the possibility of being snowed in and without power. In addition to food, shoppers picked up last-minute supplies to fight the cold and to help dig out.

At R.W. Hine Ace Hardware in Cheshire, store owner Pat Bowman said shovels, ice melt and firewood were flying off the shelves Thursday and Friday.

"It's been busy," he said. "People have been coming in to fill up propane tanks, too."

Bowman said he normally stays up until 7 p.m. Friday but planned to close a bit earlier.

Some stations in the area ran out of gas Thursday night but Kevin Curry, co-owner of several Danby's stations, said trucks made one last delivery to all of his stations early Friday morning.

"It was busier than busy," he said. "We did two days' worth of sales."

Curry said gasoline distributors were pulling trucks off the road by Friday afternoon.

With the gas stations stocked, Curry said his attention was shifting to the other side of Danby's business: towing. By midday Friday he had already received several calls reported cars slipping off roads and expected a busy night.

"The trucks are all out," Curry said.

Meriden and surrounding towns issued parking bans to make it easier for plows to clear the streets.

At ShopRite, Meriden resident Richard Gwara was packing bags into his trunk as the snow began to get heavier shortly before noon. He said his wife had sent him to the store to fetch a few last-minute items.

"Bread, eggs, all the stuff I don't need," Gwara said, adding that he had just been to the grocery store on Tuesday. "Most people over-prepare."

-Russell Blair - Originally published in Record-Journal (Meriden, CT)

Gas to be Sold for $1.84 Thursday
« previous
Data Tie-up Slows Traffic Study
next »