EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

October 27, 2012

Weather wary: Emergency supplies fly off the shelves as Sandy approaches

(Continued)

Some aren’t taking any chances. At the Home Depot on the Loop in Methuen, Jim and Edith Harvey of Andover bought the last generator on the store floor at about 11 a.m.

The store wasn’t expecting another delivery of 35 units until after midnight today.

“We actually pre-ordered this a couple of weeks ago because of last year’s Halloween storm,” Jim Harvey said. “Then we heard about this storm. So the timing for us was fantastic.”

He said that during last year’s late-October snowstorm, their house lost power for two days, which is difficult because Edith works at home.

“We’re not taking any chances this year,” he said, adding that the outage was also difficult on their two children.

While they are getting the generator too late for an electrician to hook it up, the $1,000-unit, a GP7500E, is capable of producing 7,500 watts of power and can be used to power individual appliances, such as their refrigerator, wood-stove blower and sump pump.

Employees of the store said the Harveys were lucky.

“Everybody’s been calling about generators,” said Mike Gray, who works in the electrical department. He said he was telling them to call back later, to find out when the delivery was being made. Home Depot trucks were fanning out across the Northeast yesterday delivering the generators, but they couldn’t come fast enough.

“We were selling $2,000 generators like they’re packs of gum,” said Dave Iannucillo, who works in the hardware department. “Yesterday (Thursday) by 10:30 a.m., they were all gone.” So the Methuen store ordered some more units from another store, and they sold out just as fast.

“People are nervous,” he said. “They’re getting batteries, extension cords, wet/dry vacs and cases of water.”

Ace cashier France Levesque said Friday morning the store saw a flurry of activity, with people buying salt to melt the ice and snow, which is forecast. Also prominently displayed in the store were power-shovels.

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