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Mainers shopping local, preparing for blizzard

Some Maine towns could see up to 18 inches of snow.

ELLSWORTH, Maine — Along with any storm, in any season, comes a rush to stores to stock up ahead of time. To get prepared, people buy groceries in bulk, ice melt, batteries, and other necessities. 

For the storm moving in Saturday, the rush was no different. Matt Well, Friends & Family Market manager in Ellsworth, said customers were loading up on grocery staples. He said they likely have more in stock than some might find at a chain supermarket.

"Being independent, we have a lot of options as far as other vendors to bring things in. We don't have to use just one vendor," Welch said.

Vera Osier was one of the many out shopping ahead of the storm Friday. She said when the major chain stores are out of something she's looking for, she can usually find it at Friends & Family market.

"I went to Walmart this morning for a friend, and they had no cat food up there, so I told them to come here," Osier said.

Bob Knights works at the market. He said ever since the blizzard of '78, he noticed people tend to go into a panic when they hear a storm is coming.

"It's as if the food on the shelves is the last food they're ever going to have. The snow is gonna come, and it's never gonna go away," Knights said.

Two miles down the road at Reny's Department Store in Ellsworth, it's not just food flying off the shelves.

"The salt, the ice scrapers for your car, gas cans for your generators. We also have oil lamps. A lot of stores actually don't have those anymore, so it's good that we still do," Justin Wade, assistant store manager, said

Wade said waiting until the last minute can leave you going store to store to find what you need.

"We used to have some propane tanks, but everybody already came in and got them. They were a good deal here," Wade said.

Osier said that she always makes sure her house is ready to go ahead of a big storm along with shopping. 

"I also got a couple of five-gallon buckets and filled them with water, just in case we get out of power and have to flush the toilets," Osier said.

Osier added she also weighted down her car with sandbags to prevent it from skidding on the icy and snowy roads. 

Knights said the bottom line is people shouldn't be worried.

"The snow's gonna come. We're gonna shovel it. And the storm goes away. And the store will still be here," Knights said.

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