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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Fairfield Prepares for Latest Snow Attack

Fairfield Prepares for 
Latest Snow Attack:
Forecast calls for 8-15 inches 
to fall by 2p.m. Wednesday
(Posted to 1/11)
By Mike Lauterborn
© 2010. All Rights Reserved.

Fairfield, CT – In advance of a forecast of between eight and 15 inches of snowfall by 2p.m. Wednesday, local residents Tuesday afternoon shuttled about town stocking up on grocery items, gas and DVDs.

“I should be buying flashlights and batteries, but I’m buying food,” chuckled Jessica Ryan of Easton, loading up her SUV at the Stop & Shop at 1160 Kings Highway Cutoff. “I haven’t gotten the wine yet, but that’s at the top of my list!”

As to how she planned to spend tomorrow’s snow day, Ryan said, “Hopefully we’ll be out enjoying the snow. I have to go get my daughter some snowpants. I already told the kids there will be no school. They’ll be very disappointed if they do have to go.”

Rolling out of Stop & Shop with her cart piled high, Fairfielder Elizabeth Galle offered her perspective and plans. “I wasn’t really shopping for the storm. I just hadn’t done any shopping since the New Year,” she laughed. “Anyhow, I live in town near the fire department. It’s usually easy to get around and it’s always plowed by me. I’m not intimidated by storms usually.”

Galle and her family have planned what has become a snow day tradition. “We’re going to do a Cousins Breakfast. My nieces and nephews will come over and we’ll do bacon and eggs. We do it every snow day.”

Filling up at a pump at the Cumberland Farms, 1101 Post Road, Bill Gaffney from Monroe said, “I wanted to make sure I had enough gas as the storm is going to be a wait-and-see. We got ten inches last time.”

Just pulling away in his truck, private snowplow contractor Brendan O’Reilly said, “I’m pretty used to big snowfalls. I’ll take it as it comes. I expect to be busy for a straight 38 hours. It may be a little more moist than past snowfalls, which is going to be challenging and will create icy conditions.”

Renting a DVD of “Sorcerer’s Apprentice” from a Redbox kiosk near the store’s entrance, Dr. Jeff Owens said, “This is for tonight, as my kids’ practices have been cancelled. My office (Willows Pediatric Group) is closed tomorrow morning. My colleagues and I will be calling each other at 6 a.m. to figure out what to do about the afternoon. As for the family, I think we’re going to get up, shovel and go sledding over at Fairfield University.”

Paul Zawadksi, General Manager at The Pantry, 1580 Post Road, plans for snow events with calculated precision. “We look at forecasts, anticipating increased store traffic, which we are experiencing right now. People are stocking up on a lot of staples: meats, prepared foods, eggs, milk. We try to produce extra amounts of food and order extra staples.”

As to the market’s plans for Wednesday, Zawadski said, “We’re going to discuss right now a plan and decide if we’re going to open up. A lot of our vendors have told us they will not be making deliveries, so while we would prefer to be open and service our customers, we may be limited in what we can offer. Our employees’ safety is a priority, too.”

Rolling away from the register with a number of items in her cart, Cathy Fein of Monroe admitted to being sucked into the pre-snow mad dash. “I bought some comfort food I don’t usually buy, like chips. You get into this frenetic mode of ‘Oh my god I’ll never get out.’ My husband’s office is closing tomorrow so I wanted to be sure there was food in the house.”

Fellow shopper Shawna Feeley of Fairfield had adopted a fearless attitude. “I’m just collecting dinner and granola… not worried about a thing. This town has a bunch of panickers. I have a Jeep, so I have no concerns about getting around. I’m going to make a fire tomorrow, and sled.”

At CafĂ© Josephine Italian Deli & Market, there was a calm before the storm. “We get hit when the snow begins falling,” said manager Adam Lopiano. “People suddenly rush in to stock up and the phone begins ringing off the hook with delivery orders – pizza, pizza, pizza. When people are snowed in, they tend to want to enjoy a pizza and a DVD. We’re open until 9 p.m. tonight but will be closed tomorrow. No reason for us to be here if we can’t do our breakfast and lunch.”

At Southport’s Spic and Span Market, Meat Manager Jim Workman said there had definitely been an uptick in store traffic. “People are stocking up on multiple meals – pot roast, chicken, meatballs, meatloafs. Wintertime comfort food. Dairy products and milk are going, too.”

Shopper Tom Blackwell of Fairfield had lined up his plans. “Tonight we’re going to have a nice little family dinner and wait for the impending snow. I’ll be going to work tomorrow while my daughter will be skating on the rink our backyard. I’m sure she’ll be off school tomorrow knowing Fairfield.”