09/14/05 — Residents hit stores just in case

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Residents hit stores just in case

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on September 14, 2005 1:50 PM

Wayne County shoppers were stocking up on goods in preparation for the effects of Hurricane Ophelia, but most were not panicked, nor desperately hunting for that last loaf of bread.

Bryant Stocks, manager of the Food Lion on Spence Avenue, said traffic throughout the week has been slightly higher than normal.

Customers have been buying a lot of bread, charcoal and canned meats, he said, the type of items that would be useful should electricity be cut off.

He said the biggest sellers were those with a "pop-top" lid.

"Anything you wouldn't have to have electricity for," Stocks said. "The last three days have been busier than normal."

Stocks said many customers appeared to be doing their regular shopping but had been adding items for hurricane preparedness, such as water, canned products and sandwich meats.

"We did a whole lot yesterday afternoon," grocery manager Milton Waters said today.

"Customers came in and bought necessities for the storm," he said. "They came in and bought up a lot of canned goods, ice, meat, juice, vegetables, charcoal, water."

Waters said his store was no busier than usual this morning, but he expected bigger crowds around noon, when residents should know more about the potential effects of the hurricane.

"I normally do my shopping on Wednesday," said Milly Crain, a dental hygienist shopping this morning. "I think we're just going to have some wind and some rain. I'll just treat the day as I would any other day." Mrs. Crain added she was not picking up hurricane-specific items.

Lin Farmer said he was doing his normal shopping, with a few extras.

"I'm probably getting a little more than I normally do," he said. "Milk, bread, soup, bananas."

Retired, Farmer said he does a lot of the grocery shopping for himself and his wife.

"I'm not expecting too much from this other than rain," Farmer said, "but it's sort of unpredictable."

Brian Langston drives for Puryear Trucking. Not working today, he did some grocery shopping.

"I'm picking up breakfast stuff, a couple of TV dinners, Pepsi," Langston said. Also in his cart were bananas and grits. "We're just expecting rain. We're not working today, so we figured we'd kind of lay in."

Billy Rivenbark at the Piggly Wiggly in Mount Olive said his No. 1 seller the past couple days has been bread, followed closely by milk.

Linda Oates was "just picking up some odds and ends."

She said she's prepared for Ophelia, but she doesn't expect the hurricane to be that bad.

"I feel like everything's going to be all right," she said. "I hear there will be more water, not that much rain. We need the rain."

At Wal-Mart on Tuesday afternoon, a steady flow of customers visited the store, some on routine missions, others stocking up in anticipation of a hurricane or power outages.

Pete Flanigan, store manager, said the most popular items being sold were flashlights, batteries, canned foods and water. The store's water supply was already running low over the past week, he said, since a lot was already diverted to the Gulf Coast.

Flanigan said he receives shipments every night and expected to keep enough on hand to accommodate the public.

"We order, like, yesterday, have it tonight," he said. "Then, we build up for the next couple of days."

Christie Gidden of Grantham was shopping with her 1-year-old daughter Kaitlyn. She said it was a routine shopping trip, but were it not for the threat of a hurricane, she might have postponed shopping.

"I have been sick today, " she said. "I thought if I don't go today, the storm's gonna hit."

Peggy Davis of Goldsboro compared cartons of eggs, checking for cracks. She said for her it was business as usual, a chance to get out to the store.

Opting not to worry, she said, "I just let the Lord take care of it."

Jessie and Jennifer Wallace of Goldsboro had a cart quickly filling up with canned goods. The couple said they needed to do grocery shopping anyway, "but we're stocking up just in case."

They leaned mostly toward foods that didn't need to be refrigerated, although Wallace expressed disappointment that the store was out of Vienna sausage.

Mrs. Wallace said that with children, she was making sure she had plenty of fruit cups and juices, as well as applesauce.

Rodney Holden of Goldsboro was wheeling 5-year-old daughter Korrie toward the check-out. Wife Tracie soon joined him with sons Amon, 7, and Tra, 11 months. The couple said they have been through a hurricane before, so the expected storm prompted the grocery trip. Among items on their list were bread, water, milk, and baby formula.

The children came equipped with their own requests. Korrie had just asked her father about buying some brownies. Amon was more interested in some Halloween snacks he had seen.

Mostly, though, Mrs. Holden said, "I just pray that God will have mercy on us."