Sunday, October 28, 2012

Easton Area Calm in the Face of "Frankenstorm"

By Christina Georgiou

People in the City of Easton and the greater Easton area seem to have a stoic attitude in the face of dire predictions of widespread damage from the incoming Hurricane Sandy.

Downtown Easton was especially quiet early Sunday afternoon, and most people there seemed to be prepared for what is coming.

Downtown Easton was nearly deserted except for a few
locals on the streets Sunday afternoon.
 "I've got what I need. I think I'm going to have a glass of wine or two with dinner tonight and relax," said one man on Northampton Street. "I bought a can of soup and two candles earlier, just in case."

That seemed to be the attitude of many in the heart of the city, which rarely loses electrical power in storms due to the lines being located underground.

"I'm not worried," said Quadrant Coffeehouse and Bookmart owner Jo Moranville. "When you live Downtown, you don't lose power."

Most weren't worried about the water supply either, since even if the power goes out, the municipal supply is unlikely to be affected.

Flooding, also expected with the arrival of "Frankenstorm", doesn't much faze local residents either, most of whom have been through it countless times before.

"I'm not even going to look in my basement," Moranville said. "It's going to flood. And then it's going to seep out like it always does."

"French toast supplies", other than bread,"
are beginning to run short Downtown.

 While most places in the city were quiet, though most businesses were keeping regular hours, the coffeehouse was doing a brisk brunch trade well into the afternoon like most Sundays. Moranville was surprised to hear the rest of the neighborhood was so deserted, other than a few locals running last minute errands or walking dogs.

"They must all be out at the grocery store buying French toast supplies," she said, referring to the standard storm shopping list of milk, eggs, butter and bread.

Things were also quiet in the suburbs, though some supplies are harder to come by.

Cantelmi's hardware in Forks reportedly sold out of generators early Saturday morning, while at Sam's Club at Lower Nazareth, which opened three hours early on Sunday, bottled water was in short supply.

One of the few places that still has batteries
left is Family Dollar, though if it's size "D"
you're looking for, you're out of luck.
 At Redner's in Palmer, the supply of eggs, milk and bread were holding out as of Saturday night, but all the flashlights and most batteries were gone by early Saturday night, with a similar situation found at Wegmans in Lower Nazareth.

Unlike many places, there were still some batteries to be had at Family Dollar, a highly trafficked store for Downtown residents without personal transportation,, though those in size "D" were in short supply, and flashlights were essentially sold  out.

Clerks said business has been brisk in the last two days.

"They've been taking everything off the shelves," said one clerk who declined to be identified because he's not authorized to speak to the press. "I can't complain about that one though."

Flameless battery-operated LED candles, intended as holiday decorations, and portable battery-operated desk lamps have been hot sellers, said another employee.

Looks like all the "good" ramen noodle flavors are sold out.

 A quick check around the store revealed that while there's still an ample supply of bread, butter, milk and eggs, along with ramen noodles, are nearly sold out.

Local bus companies are also preparing for Hurricane Sandy by suspending service during the height of its onslaught.

While LANTA has announced it will make a final decision about potential service cuts during the storm later today, regional bus lines have already announced service suspensions.

Susquehanna Trailways will cease to run as of 7 p.m. Sunday evening and will suspend service entirely for Monday, Oct. 29.

TransBridge is expected to make its plans known today at 5 p.m., according to an employee at the Easton bus terminal on South Third Street.

"I suggest if you're going to New York, you do it as soon as possible," he said. "The last bus may be at 5:05 p.m., or it may be at 4:05 p.m. We'll know later."

While weather predictions earlier stated the rain was likely to begin by 2 p.m., by 3 p.m. the only precipitation had been a light morning shower, though there was a breeze that was picking up in intensity.

While mounting postponements and closures will be an inconvenience for many, some members of the community are actually looking forward to the storm.

"I'm hoping there's no school tomorrow," said Alison Spain, a Palmer resident and a senior at EAHS. "Maybe Tuesday, and hopefully Wednesday too."

Her co-worker agreed,  and though local school closures have not yet been announced, it seems likely they may be soon.

"I've already kind of convinced myself I'm not going to school tomorrow," said fellow senior Domonique Jones, who lives Downtown. "I'm just curious how high the flooding is going to get."

Both the City of Easton and Williams Township have posted storm preparedness guidelines on their websites. We will post other local municipal announcements as and if they happen.

For Twitter updates from Downtown Easton, follow @Eastonwordsmith

How are things in your neighborhood? Tell us in the comments!

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