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Area stores try to stay ahead of the rush to stock up for Sandy

October 29, 2012|By CALEB CALHOUN | caleb.calhoun@herald-mail.com
  • Dolly Gray of Williamsport looks for milk at the Martins Grocery on Wesel Boulevard Monday afternoon. Water and milk shelves were nearing empty as residents prepared for the storm.
Ric Dugan/Staff Photographer

Some stores in Washington County were fast running out of essential bad-weather supplies such as generators and flashlights Monday, but grocery store shelves for the most part held what people were seeking.

After a hectic weekend of grocery shopping in preparation for Hurricane Sandy, the rush appeared to slow down at some area grocery stores Monday.

The Martin’s grocery store on Wesel Boulevard had bottles of water, bread, batteries, ice packs, paper towels, toilet paper and milk all in stock, but it was running low on water, paper towels and toilet paper. At one point Monday afternoon there were no packs of water bottles on the shelves, and they were only available individually.

Store Manager John Wasson said that items not in stock would be replenished before long.

“If the product is not in-house, it’s on its way,” he said. “Groceries are still being delivered, and there are enough people involved that know what we need to get.”

Wasson said tractor trailers trying to deliver the items could run into problems because of the storm.

The store, which is open 24 hours, was to remain open despite the threat from Hurricane Sandy.

“This is no different than a snowstorm, and we’re all pretty much selling the same thing up and down the Eastern Seaboard,” he said. “Water and ice are big ones that people always want.”

The Food Lion at the intersection of Halfway Boulevard and Virginia Avenue was in a similar situation, with the same items in stock but running low on bread and water bottles.

Food Lion company spokeswoman Christy Phillips-Brown said that the amount of certain supplies being sent to the stores have increased due to the storm.

“Over the past several days, we’ve deployed additional shipments of items including milk, water, and batteries,” she said. “We continue to actively monitor the hurricane.”

Canned meat and charcoal were popular items for customers in case the power went out, according to Phillips-Brown.

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Other stores in the county were running out of some essential hurricane supplies Monday.

By late morning Monday, the Lowe’s store at Shank Farm Way in Hagerstown had run out of generators.

“We have a few flashlights and coolers left. We are fast running out of batteries,” said Chad Stinnett, the store manager. “Our concern is safety. We are trying to help the community as much as we can.”

Stinnett urged potential customers to call before driving to the store.

“They might drive here and we might have run out of the essential stuff they want,” he said.

The Home Depot on Hagerstown’s Garland Groh Boulevard had run out of generators, too.

“We had them just two and a half hours ago,” said Anthony Mazzola, the store manager, on Monday afternoon. “They sell out fast. It’s like Christmas.”

Mazzola said that his store still had supplies of hand-cranked flashlights and 5-gallon containers of water.

Staff writer Kaustuv Basu contributed to this story.

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