Ron couldn’t restock the jugs of bottled water fast enough before customers came over asking to take them right out of the cases.
“It just started today,” the manager at Pathmark in Port Jefferson Station said of the crowds. “Look at the bread aisle.”
The pockmarked shelves of water and bread looked like jack-o-lantern smiles this close to Halloween with what some are calling a “Frakenstorm” on the way. Shelves had empty spaces where the manager was trying to fill in with product.
“Bread, water, milk,” he ticked off all the items people were started to pick up ahead of the Hurricane Sandy’s expected arrival on Sunday night.
Two stores down from Pathmark in the same shopping center at Sears Hardware a gaggle of customers contemplated their choices of flashlights, some not happy with what they were seeing. It seemed that gone were the cheap, candy-colored, D-battery operated, plastic models and only more expensive ones were found in their place.
“The price of a flashlights is ridiculous,” said Mt. Sinai resident Barry Askinasi. “But if nothing else it’ll be a good stimulus for the economy.”
Askinasi said there was nothing much he could do to prepare for the storm. He was at Sears for some flashlights then he was going to buy some groceries and stock up on water just in case. When he got home he planned to batten down the furniture in expectation of high winds and wait it out.
Others around him agreed. After Hurricane Irene blew through last year, many of them had the bigger supplies they needed. One woman who did not give her name said all she was picking up was an extra flashlight or two for work.
On Tuesday, when the storm is predicted to hit Port Jefferson, the high tides will be at 12:01 a.m. during the full moon. In case you forgot, the last time there was a storm surge and a full moon at high tide downtown Port Jefferson flooded all the way up to Tommy’s Place passed Chandler Square. An emergency preparedness meeting is scheduled for Saturday morning according to Mayor Margot Garant.
As of the time of the writing of this article, Fred Hall, general manager of the Bridgeport-Port Jefferson Ferry, said there was nothing to report.
With less than two days before the storm is supposed to affect the area, plans are starting to be made based on the latest reports. If things stay as they are, Ron, that Pathmark grocery store manager, said people will definitely be out to get their last minute items.
“I expect it to be pandemonium,” he said.
Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that the storm was predicted to hit the area on Sunday night.