Residents were preparing for Hurricane Irene on Friday. Supermarkets were busier than usual, with long lines, extra staff and more deliveries. Some customers were stressed and frustrated. Store managers and employees were patient and professional.
Bill Johnson, a Montville police officer, was buying supplies Friday.
"We’re on call for this weekend and by the phone, ready to come in," Johnson said. "I've been notified. I'll be here in Montville, working for you when the power goes out.”
The potential hurricane damage is being taken seriously by most, while some believe it is hype. A power outage was the most common concern expressed by shoppers. Many area residents get water from private wells, requiring an electric pump. This was a driving force in planning for an outage that could last several days. Water, milk, bread, cold cuts, chips and snacks, peanut butter, and canned goods flew off the shelves.
People tend to wait until the last minute to prepare. "It’s funny the number of calls I’ve gotten yesterday and today from customers freaking out, asking for sump pumps," said Sam Greenblatt, a plumber shopping at A&P in Boonton.