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Some area residents express indifference to Hurricane Sandy

October 26, 2012|By CALEB CALHOUN | caleb.calhoun@herald-mail.com

Hurricane Sandy may still be expected to impact the area by Sunday, but not all local residents were out preparing for it Friday.

In fact, some expressed indifference to the storm’s arrival, including Hagerstown resident Chuck Holman, who said he plans to do “absolutely nothing” to prepare for it.

“I don’t think it’s necessary because I don’t see it being more than just rain,” Holman, 45, said. “I fear nothing like that. It’s just nature.”

Holman did say, however, that he would vote on Saturday just to make sure he gets it out of the way in case the storm does cause any problems. Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley’s office said Friday afternoon that the weather could cause changes to the early voting schedule, set to begin Saturday.

High winds and flooding are possible from Sunday through Tuesday.

Customers were filing in and out of grocery stores and big box stores throughout Friday, but not all of them were stocking up for the hurricane. Some said they were not taking it seriously yet.

“I thought it was just going to veer off, and I really wasn’t doing anything to prepare,” said Martinsburg, W.Va., resident Brenda Arndt, 50. “I’ll monitor it to make sure that I am prepared. If they’re calling for really strong winds and maybe our electricity is going to go out, I would want to be more prepared.”

Bryan Pumphrey, 38, of Martinsburg,  said that he was not aware of how serious the storm could be but would begin to track it as well.

“I really haven’t paid a lot of attention to it but as it gets closer, I’ll probably take some precautionary things,” he said. “I’ll make sure everything’s locked down, that the trampoline doesn’t blow, and that things are in out of the storm.”

Pumphrey was coming out of Sam’s Club with bottled water and other supplies. He said he used to live in South Carolina and has some experience dealing with hurricanes.

“I’ve got some things I always stock up on just in case,” he said. “Once you start to feel the wind pick up, you make sure everything’s in from outside, the porch is in place, and the tree limbs are all cut ahead of time.”

By 2 p.m. Friday, the hurricane had weakened with winds maximizing at 75 miles per hour (mph), according to published reports, but it was still expected to affect the area.

Jessica Shipp, a cashier at the 7-Eleven on Dual Highway, said that the number of customers was normal Friday afternoon, and that she did not see people lining up to get supplies.

“We’ve been steady all day,” she said. “It’s like a day before the storm when we get a lot of people come in.”

Joe Sacchet, 63, of Hagerstown, was among those who planned to prepare but was not doing so Friday. He said he thinks the storm could be rough, though.

“Sunday I plan to get up early and have my list made up,” he said. “I’m looking for paper products, batteries, non-perishable foods, water and bread. It could be a couple of days of just high wind and rain.”

Berkeley, W.Va., resident Kathy Householder, however, was not going to procrastinate and went to Sam’s Club to get supplies Friday.

“If there was going to be a hurricane, I thought I’d stock up,” she said. “I make sure I have a lot of batteries and flashlights and stuff like that. I’ve got plenty of food, and I’ve got water at the house, so I think I’ll be pretty well prepared.”

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