POUND RIDGE, N.Y. – Billy Fortin, owner of Scotts Corner Market in Pound Ridge, is ready for whatever Hurricane Sandy has in store.
“We are always open,” Fortin said. “Well, we are actually open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., but I might spend the night here.”
The market had already lost power early Monday morning when a tree took out a power line on Westchester Avenue, a NYSEG crew was already working on the problem and Fortin expected to have his power restored by Monday afternoon. In the meantime, his back-up generators were keeping the store running. If and when another blackout strikes, those generators will continue to keep the store open.
On Monday morning, the store was somewhat quiet with just a smattering of customers. Fortin said people are wiser thanks to last year’s storms and came in during the weekend to stock up on things like water, bread and batteries.
“We did more than a week’s worth of business on Saturday and Sunday,” he said. “We had all the registers going and brought in all our crews. This morning (Monday) we were really busy, but now people are starting to hunker down.”
Fortin said that on Sunday, the store received 15 pallets of water from its wholesaler.
"They came in on a Sunday," he said. "I have a great relationship with all my vendors – a long-term, loyal relationship.”
As a result, Scotts Corners Market has most of what people will need as they prepare to deal with Sandy's aftermath.
“We have batteries, we have ice,” he said. “We ordered 60 cases of batteries but we only got 20 because they are rationing them."
Fortin said he one of a few retailers in the area that has batteries in stock, Consequently, he's keeping them behind the counter and selling them a package at a time when customers request them.
"Otherwise, they'll just grabbed the whole case," he said.
The toughest thing for his employees, Fortin said, is dealing with panicked customers.
“I had people crying yesterday,” he said. “It’s panic shock. The stress level is high and we understand that. But we will stay open no matter what. I feel that I have an obligation to the town.”