North Fork residents stockpile for Hurricane Sandy

Frankenstorm, Hurricane Sandy, Mattituck, Riverhead
BETH YOUNG PHOTO | Waldbaum’s staffers said people had already started cleaning out store shelves by Friday afternoon. But more provisions were on the way.

It was the calm before the storm in stores across the North Fork leading into this weekend.

Customers were beginning to buy up gas cans and flashlights by mid-day Friday, said Jamesport True Value Hardware co-owner Richard Dituso, who was expecting even more of a rush as Sunday approached.

Few shoppers were in the aisles at Waldbaums in Mattituck Friday afternoon, though the store had sold out of large bottles of water.

Scan administrator Patti Hooks said the store was expecting another water shipment later that afternoon, as well as extra shipments of canned goods and batteries.

“They’re sending in more pallets. We’re certainly getting prepared,” said the supermarket’s front end manager, Liz Lynch.

While she said there’d been chatter at the register about the hurricane between customers and cashiers, she said she believed most people were still at work and would not be coming in to stock up for the storm until the weekend.

“I’m not reacting myself. Maybe I should,” she said.

The store managers were planning to hold a conference call with regional managers later that afternoon to discuss storm plans.

Ms. Hooks said she doubted the store would change its hours of operation, which is currently 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

At the front registers, amid the displays of Halloween candy, store employees had modified their holiday greeting in anticipation of what’s being called “Frankenstorm.”

“Happy Hurricane,” said employee Karen Keller to a reporter as she cleaned up the register area in anticipation of the coming rush.

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