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Business at home improvement stores brisk as residents tackle repairs after storm

EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP--Newell McCalmont had been planning for a while now to replace the gate at his Margate home.

But when Sandy knocked off the latch this week he went to the Lowe's on the Black Horse Pike to buy a new one.

"After the storm came I was no longer able to close it," he said. "So when I was able to leave the island I came here."

In the wake of the destructive Hurricane Sandy, local residents are surveying their homes to and making runs to local home improvement stores to repair the damage or deal with the storm’s aftermath.

The most popular items Friday were generators, gas cans, and cleaning supplies, said several local store managers.

"As soon as we get things in they fly off the shelves," said Lowe's assistant manager Andy Keenan. "We're getting what we can. Right now people seem to be in cleanup mode."

Keenan said he expects this weekend to be very busy as now contractors will start preparing for jobs and need supplies.

Mary Lou Harvey was in the store to purchase insulation to replace what that floated away from under her Ocean City home. The house was fine but there was flooding in the garage that ruined her washer and dryer.

John Merryman, manager for the Home Depot on the White Horse Pike in Absecon, said a lot of people are still without power and shopping for the generators and water pumps to remove the water. He expects soon people will need to start purchasing heaters.

"Every day we get more stuff coming in," he said. "We had six trucks lined up here when we arrived this morning."

Atlantic City resident Gene Allen said he had no damage to his house but bought a lot of cleaning items and a large rake to sweep away the debris that fell.

"We're not buying any 2 x 4s, thank God, just cleaning supplies," he said. "We didn't have as much damage as other people we know."

Jenice Jones shopped for materials that will absorb the water that flooded into her Atlantic City home and soaked her carpets and furniture. She also bought trash bags to fill all the things in her house that she must now throw away.

"All the news was about the boardwalk (that was damaged in Atlantic City) but there was a lot of flooding in the homes," she said. "The water in my basement reached the door knob."

Not everyone was shopping for themselves.

Absecon resident Tom Kitching bought a five gallon gas can to bring gas to her daughter in Springfield.

"The gas lines there are two hours long," he said. "I'm going to take a drive up there this weekend and bring some to her."

 

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