Although Sandy is hundreds of miles and days away, preparations around Killingworth are well underway. While those at Town Hall are meeting about emergency preparedness, residents are stocking up and businesses are busy filling an array of needs.
First Selectman Cathy Iino says “We’re monitoring the situation and meeting again on Sunday to figure out if we need to open the shelter on Sunday or Monday."
"We’re hoping we don’t have to open it until Monday but don’t know yet."
The Haddam-Killingworth Middle School, Iino reports, is now designated as a Red Cross Regional Shelter.
"They’re talking about the possibility of evacuating the shoreline so we have to be prepared to receive those from Westbrook, Clinton and Madison," said Iino.
"Our unified command," she says, "is on the job and making sure all our connections are in place so we can do what we need to do."
"As the weekend goes on and we get a better sense of what’s going to happen, we’ll have a better sense of more communications."
"Here we go again," Iino added.
At the Country Cloverleaf, “there’s definitely more gas business," according to bookkeeper Amber White. "That’s apparent because we’ve had to have more deliveries scheduled closer together than we usually do. And, more people are buying oil for chainsaws."
“Cigarettes are flying out of here,” she said and added, “I don’t know if it’s stress or nerves with people worrying about the storm.”
Sales of grocery-type items are about the same as usual, “but gas and cigarettes are selling quickly.”
At Killingworth True Value, owner Jackie Cost reports, “It’s the same thing we always see fly off the shelves - batteries, lanterns, flashlights, kerosene, gas cans, generators, chain saws.”
“And, people are buying pumps in case we have a lot of water. They’re also buying propane and filling their gas tanks – making sure they have plenty of propane in case they want to cook on the grill. Those are the things we do when we have an incident like this."
“It’s been big since yesterday,” Cost said. “We just have to keep the flow of merchandise coming in. We’re not prepared normally for this volume,” she admits.
An emergency truck will be coming in this Sunday, "but there’s no need to have extended hours,” she said.
JV’s Wine & Spirits owner Saurin Mehta hopes Sandy will deliver additional business but really does not make a prediction regarding sales. “It depends – this is a funny business.”
If there is a power outage, JV’s may stay open even without a generator. “Last year we stayed open and people paid cash,” he said.
“Traffic is starting to pick up here at the library, between in-person visits and phone calls. It's nice to know we're on the list of 'essentials,' along with bread, milk and gas,” says Tammy Eustis, head librarian at Killingworth Library.
“Remember that books and magazines don't require electricity or batteries, but we also have plenty of movies and audiobooks for non-reading entertainment. And of course, there are board games and jigsaw puzzles,” she points out.
The library will be open regular hours on Saturday from 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
“At that point, we'll start playing it by ear like everyone else. I hope we can start the day on Monday - we would open at 10 a.m. - so we can empty the bookdrop and serve any 'last minute' library needs. Then we'll just keep an eye on the storm track and the wind. Safety becomes the priority at that point, and we don't want patrons, volunteers, or staff out on the roads when things get bad,” Eustis says.
They’ll also play the post-storm day(s) by ear. “The library doesn't have a generator, so it would be quite dark, cold and computerless as long as the power is out. If we have power - and staff is able to make it in - we will be up and running.”
The best way to check the status is to call the library at 860-663-2000 (if the phones are working).
“And as long as I have Internet access available from home, I will keep our Facebook page updated with information. Anyone can access that, even without a Facebook account, at www.facebook.com/killingworthlibrary"