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Staten Islanders Stock Up Before Snowstorm with Sandy Scars Still Fresh

By Nicholas Rizzi | February 8, 2013 1:56pm

STATEN ISLAND — Staten Island residents scrambled to stock up on supplies prior to the massive winter storm expected to strike the city Friday — many with the devastation of Hurricane Sandy still on the mind. 

The ShopRite grocery store in New Dorp was tense as locals rushed to get food and water prior to the heaviest snowfall, forecast to hit New York City Friday night.

“[It’s] crazy and psychotic,” said Oakwood resident Camille, who didn’t want to give her last name, about the scene inside the store. “Everybody’s preparing because they're afraid about what happened [with Sandy.]”

Camille said she spent about $250 on groceries, stocking up on dry food, salt and water to make it through Winter Storm Nemo, which is expected to potentially drop more than a foot of snow around the city.

“I just think it’s another nail in the coffin,” she said of the storm, which comes just months after Sandy wreaked havoc on Staten Island.

Down the block from ShopRite on Hylan Boulevard, lines for gasoline at a Hess station swelled as horns blared from drivers wanting to make sure they topped off before the storm.

“People get cranky,” said Matt Ganzman, 36, of Oakwood, who was filling up his car Friday morning. “There’s no need to get all riled up.”

Loretta Abbrascato, 55, of Midland Beach, said she stocked up on groceries Thursday night, but went out again Friday to grab medicine and fill up her Honda before hunkering down for the evening.

“I’m not planning on going out,” she said.

She said she only had to wait 20 minutes to fill up, but heard others complain they waited more than an hour for gas.

For residents displaced by Sandy, they planned on taking steps to ensure they don’t sustain any further damages from the snowstorm before heading in for the night.

Dominick Spagnolo, 58, grabbed two cases of water at the Cedar Grove Community Hub before heading to his home on South Beach to prepare for the snow.

He said he will board up his bay window, which was blown out by Sandy, to avoid snow getting in and damaging the floor he just replaced.

“I’m going to prepare there,” he said. “I don’t want a lot of snow in there.”

Hub volunteers said residents filed in Friday to stock up on water before the storm.

Donna Graziano, who runs the tent city, said she plans to keep the center open for as long as she can before shutting down and putting her supplies up high to avoid snow damage.

“We’re going to hold out as long as we can,” she said. “I’m going to shut down and sit in my car for as long as I can. It’s supposed to get really bad here.”