As a resident of Little Egg Harbor, Jen Rogers has seen her fair share of bad storms.
But Hurricane Sandy's predicted track "has me a little freaked out," said the manager of the Spirit store in Manahawkin.
Business was slow today at Spirit, which specializes in freaking people out in an entirely different way than "Frankenstorm." Specializing in Halloween costumes and decorations, the store would normally be packed on the Sunday before Halloween. But not today.
"It's been pretty slow, and we've had people calling out," Rogers said. She noted that some neighborhoods have postponed trick-or-treating activities until next weekend, which may have prompted some people to heed warnings about staying off the roads during the State of Emergency.
Meanwhile, stores in other parts of Manahawkin were similarly quiet today, although shelves for certain items, like the bread aisle at ShopRite of Manahawkin, were becoming bare.
Jim Smith, who lives in the Ocean Acres section of Manahawkin, today visited the ShopRite to stock up on "stuff we need in case the power goes out." He filled his cart with nonperishable items. He noted the ShopRite was very quiet, and said there were many more shoppers at both the Home Depot and Lowe's stores in Manahawkin last night.
"It seems like last night there was more of a panic," Smith said.
Smith recalled Hurricane Irene, and noted that his neighborhood was without power for two days after that storm. "It was horrible, so we are really trying to be ready in case that happens."
Over at the Home Depot in Manahawkin, Store Manager Cindy Wilkie noted that the store had just received a delivery of sand. "That's something everybody has been asking for," she said. "I also have plenty of water."
Wilkie noted her Home Depot was out of C and D batteries, but had double A batteries. She noted that business at her store, in contrast to Spirit, has been a steady stream today.
"We've sold tons of plywood," Wilkie said. "I guess people waited till today to board up."