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Residents prepared for snowbound weekend inside

Andy Zaykoski (left) and Charlie Tormanen visited Valero's Friday afternoon. Zaykoski bought $160 in gas to prepare for a weekend of snow plowing. (Recorder/ Chris Shores)

Andy Zaykoski (left) and Charlie Tormanen visited Valero's Friday afternoon. Zaykoski bought $160 in gas to prepare for a weekend of snow plowing. (Recorder/ Chris Shores)

GREENFIELD — The definition of “line” was being stretched thin at Stop & Shop Friday. Checkout lanes backed up four and five people strong, wrapping in wide arcs from the checkout counters, at times intersecting with other lines.

Last-minute shoppers stood with their carts — filled with essentials like canned goods, jugs of water and snacks — facing every direction possible and chatting with line neighbors. Outside, the first of winter Storm Nemo’s snowflakes softly sprinkled on Franklin County soil.

“I didn’t expect it to be like this today,” a woman said loudly across the cluster of people.

“What, are you kidding?” replied a man, with a grin.

Melissa O’Malley — who was 5 during the Blizzard of ’78 and remembers not being able to walk out the door of her family’s Cape Cod home — has learned to prepare for the worst-case scenario.

She fought the crowds at Stop & Shop on Thursday to stock up on food items and candles. If the power goes down, she will toss the rotisserie chicken she bought in the snow. The world is her freezer.

But when she got home Thursday night, she had a shocking realization.

“Oh my God. I forgot coffee,” she said. She returned on Friday to stock up on Folgers and Gevalia.

Bernardston couple Walter and Pat Grover waited a few lanes down. They too had taken advantage of the storm’s slow start, picking up some “last-minute, just-in-case” fruit and meat items.

The Grovers will be ready for an emergency situation, but for comfort’s sake they’re hoping that their water and electricity stays on through the weekend and that their newspaper arrives each morning.

A space at the center of one of the aisles served as the store’s temporary water mecca — where about 20 boxes were neatly stacked, each filled with six one-gallon jugs of water.

And canned goods had evidently been in high demand for this weekend. Supplies of beans and chicken noodle soup, that had once been two cans high and six cans deep, now only had single cans scattered at the back of the shelves.

Around town, some were stocking up in other ways.

At Valero’s on the Mohawk Trail, Andy Zaykoski crouched next to his pickup, filling up three gasoline cans.

“Let it snow,” he said, with a grin. The 28-year-old will be out plowing snow around Wendell and Greenfield all weekend.

“I figure if we’re going to get real heavy snow, I’ll have to go out a few times,” he said. He prepaid about $160 to fill out his truck and have enough for a complete second load — between 20 and 25 extra gallons of gasoline.

You can reach Chris Shores at:
or 413-772-0261, ext. 264

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