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NEW YORK - Shoppers are swarming area supermarkets to stock up on necessities, as Hurricane Isabel gets ready to clobber the East Coast.
According to WNBC TV, Stop & Shop Cos., which has 93 stores in the New York City area, says it's shipping 100,000 gallons of drinking water to its stores here, along with 100,000 packs of batteries.
Stop & Shop's spokeswoman Faith Weiner says the stores are also experiencing a run on dry ice, lamp oil, charcoal, Sterno and oatmeal cookies. Weiner says the cookies might be the comfort food of choice. She says emergency generators at stores are being topped off with diesel fuel and refrigerator trucks are being brought in.
In Connecticut, shoppers have been flooding local supermarkets to stock up on water, according to the Norwich Bulletin. People started coming in late Monday afternoon to the Big Y in Norwich and wiped out the stock, assistant grocery manager Randy Welch told the newspaper. The Norwich ShopRite also reported a big spike in water sales beginning Sunday. The store stocked extra batteries, and has also seen sales increases in milk, eggs and grocery non-perishables.
Down South, Harris Teeter closed a dozen stores in North Carolina and Virginia today. Stores in New Bern, Jacksonville, Wilmington, and Wrightsville Beach, N.C., are closed until the storm has passed, while stores in Chesapeake, Newport News, Norfolk, and Virginia Beach, Va., closed at 10 a.m. today, and will reopen at 7 a.m. tomorrow. The chain said it has been working hard since last week to prevent loss of temperature at its stores with shipments of dry ice and placement of generators at all stores that might be affected.
Harris Teeter also placed an extensive list of hurricane tips on its Web site to educate consumers about what supplies they should stock up on, and what action they should take in their homes to preserve their food and make sure they have enough to subsist should power be lost for several days.