As hurricane Irene hammers her way up the East Coast towards New England, residents of Boston are preparing for the worst hurricane this month.
Massachusetts Governor Duvall Patrick released a statement from a civil defense bunker outside of Montreal, Canada urging residents to “ Be prepared, remain calm and if you can…get the fuck out of Massachusetts and do it quick ! ”
Grocery stores in the area are seeing a run on staples as residents stock up and hunker down. Nick Kvetch , manager of the Stop and Shop in nearby Newton said that he is already sold out of household essentials such as Coca-Cola, Pringles, Funyuns, and Mountain Dew.
“As of 9:00 o’clock this morning we are out of snacks. Completely cleaned out,” said Kvetch. ”All we have left is vegetables, fish, meats..the crap nobody wants.”
Local residents lined up outside of liquor stores where they stocked up on emergency supplies. At Kappy’s Liquors in Chelsea over 600 people waited in line to buy beer, liquor and cigarettes.
“I’m good,” said a cheery Mike Sullivan as he left Kappys with his fully loaded shopping carriage. “ I got 2 cases of PBR, rum ,vodka, coke, a case of smokes, Juggs magazine, beef jerky…what else do you need in an emergency ?” he joked.
In Dedham, a suburb of Boston, 12 people were injured when frustrated residents raided the local food pantry and looted its stores . The injured, including a 92-year-old woman who instigated the attack, were arrested and treated at local hospitals.
Learning from mistakes made during Hurricane Katrina, looters began early today and tried to get what they could l in before the worst of the storm hit.
“ I seen them fools in Katrina waited till the storm was done. I ain’t walking through 5 feets of water wid a flat screen on my shoulder,” said one looter as he carried off 14 cases of toe-nail clippers. “Damn dog, you gotta get your shit home before the rain comes!” he said. “I ain’t waiting and lettin’ everybody get all the good shit. “
Jeff Kingford, founder of Looters For Life told us that today’s looters are more sophistical and better coordinated thanks to his organization. “Gone are the days of random ransacking and theft. Today we concentrate on high value targets, providing transportation and connecting our lowlife members with buyers. Any store without a security grate is begging us to be robbed.”
Police said that several hundred people have been arrested so far and more arrests are expected.
Home building supply stores have been very busy as homeowners try to mount a defense against Irene. Bill Getty, regional manager of New England Home Depot stores said that they have been preparing for the storm since last week.
“ We’ve hired extra personnel to enter new price codes for all of our products. We take this opportunity to gouge very seriously. We’ve been working very closely with weather services, getting them to exaggerate the intensity of the storm and building fear in the public. Fear drives customers to us and some of that money finds its way back to the weather stations. That’s what we call A Perfect Storm. You’re going to have to get a mortgage if you want a God damned sheet of plywood come Monday,” he chuckled.
In keeping with local television tradition WBZ pulled reporter Shelby Scott out of a Brighton barroom and dropped her off at Race Point in Provincetown where she has traditionally been banished to during the worst storms in Massachusetts history. Shelby was blackballed from normal broadcasting in 1974 and got little work outside of being a local storm chaser. During Hurricane Dick in 1983, she stood in freezing rains for 72 hours, fortified with nothing but gin and Coke reporting deteriorating weather conditions to a dead video feed.